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Should phones be allowed in school

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 610 times Debate No: 80861
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Should phone's be allowed on school grounds and used through-out the day?
I believe the should, what's you debate ?


I believe students taking phones to school is a bad idea and cell phones in schools should be banned.

I look forward to an informative and enlightening debate
Debate Round No. 1


Just think about it, if you want to learn, its your choice. Right ? Right. If students are going to be dumb enough to use their phones in class and don't pay attention, its on them. It's their choice to learn.


While the concept of individual responsibility is one I normally applaud, in this instance it is a bit different. The job of the schools is to teach the next generations how to be productive members of society. They must do that the best way they can, for that is the job the schools have been deemed responsible. Their charges are not adults who are able to make their own decisions but children, who need rules, structure guidelines etc. The schools must attempt to maintain discipline and ease of learning for the students.

Researchers Richard Murphy and Louis-Philippe Beland, from the London School of Economics conducted an extensive examination of cell phones in schools from 2001-2015. Their results were not shocking to most people. They found schools that banned cell phones had better pupil examination scores by 6.4% overall and amongst underachieving students by 14%. That is considerable. As schools are tasked to insure the students achieve to their utmost potential, it seems counter productive to allow them.

Technology plays a vital role in today's education, to be sure, but children using phones to text, tweet, snap chat, snap pictures of unknowing students or use the phone for the purposes of harassment and bullying, are not using their phones productively. Most classrooms contain computers and most schools have computer labs. Children usually have computers at home with which they can do homework, so the need for instant access to a cell phone in school is not necessary.

Certainly we all know the guys (or girls) who text back and forth during class, making fun of the teacher, the material or other students. We all know that one person who has been targeted with anonymous (via fake Facebook or Twitter accounts) harassment during school hours. This is all counter productive to learning.

There is no need for the child to have a cell phone (schools have phones and if a parent needs to contact the child he can call the school) and as the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits, schools should not allow them.
Debate Round No. 2


Madison_victoria forfeited this round.


As my opponent did not make points to support her viewpoint, I have nothing to refute so will only put forth my own concluding points.

It is true that many schools, New York in particular, has reversed its cell phone ban and now allow them in classrooms. Mayor Bill de Blasio states this is because parents need to be able to contact their children (and so students did not have to pay outside vendors to store them). Many are predicting real consequences for the New York City school district, as grades will fall and classroom discipline plunges even further. Teachers in school districts where cell phones are allowed, state they often get tired of telling students to put their phones away and have caught students cheating via use of their cell phone.

Recently Center for Education Policy and Law at the University of San Diego have attempted to address and offer solutions to the issue of cell phones in schools. To quote a portion of these recommendations: "schools regulate off-campus use of cell phones when there is proof that this use will result in a material disruption of the school environment or a substantial interference with the rights of others." In other words, they state the school needs to have and does have the right to search students phones and how they are used away from school. While this seems too far reaching to most people, it should be noted that the researchers are based in San Diego, California where state law is that school authority is not limited to the geographical boundaries of the school grounds. Thus these guidelines also encourage educators to search phones "within the context of the alleged misuse." To me, this seems an extreme infringement on the first amendment rights of the students but if the reality is that phones are not allowed at school, then no teacher or school administrator would be checking them. I concede this, in my opinion, should be outright rejected as a violation of the students rights however if the school does not allow phones, the school has the ability to punish the student for bringing one onto school property without prior approval.

Children have attended school for centuries without the use of cell phones. To state that a student needs to suddenly be able to contact anyone whenever he chooses, seems a bit absurd.

Children have also tried to cheat for centuries and cell phones appear to make the task of cheating easier, therefore proving the child is not learning the material he is being taught and difficulties the student may be facing are not discovered or addressed.

Finally, cell phones are equipped with cameras. Every student can take pictures of anyone, with or without the subject knowing. We have all heard stories of pictures being taken of students in locker rooms, naked or partially clothed. The picture then being sent to many other students at once, often replete with hateful, hurtful comments about the subject. This level of cyber bulling is intense and while illegal in most states, does not stop students from doing it. The subject of a modern day cyber bulling attack is dealing with issues far more complex than the simple gossip or threat "I will get you after school", of bygone eras. This alone should be the catalyst for schools to ban them.

Surely, researchers are watching the New York Public School District and recording the data. Many suspect there will be a decrease in student achievement scores and classroom discipline and a sharp increase in cyber bullying. Only time will tell but for now, the data indicates both will happen.

Based on this, it seems hard to argue for student cell phones being allowed on school property.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by eyyang0403 3 months ago
I think that SilentMouse definitely won this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.