The Instigator
Con (against)
1 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

cell phones should be allowed in school

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/3/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 16,224 times Debate No: 25979
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)




First of all, cell phones can distract students of any age in class from learning.


I'm very glad to be facing my opponent and do value his opinion however the resolution as stated ought to be affirmed. If I can prove the benefits outweigh the possible negative prospects of having cell phones in school then it is only logical that pro should be the victor of this debate.

First let me state that I do agree that cell phones have the potential to be a distraction in school. But anything can be a distraction in school like other students, food,teachers, etc.. but this distraction can be a positive thing. Cell phones have many educational purposes in the class room. As technology and smart phones are improving technologically students have more access to tools to help them educationally and in some other situations. The benefits are as follows

1.Cell phones improve school safety.

As we know schools can never be 100% safe. In the event of an emergency where students safety is at risk or there is some sort of emergency. Students can let the police or fire department know much faster than the school can. In the event that a violent subject is actually in the classroom threatening the student body and if police cannot get information or line of sight on the target students can send videos to give the police an idea of how to further approach the situation. Students can also get advise from negotiators if they are faced with hostile situations. If a student is in some area of the school where no one else is around they can contact someone to help if they have an asthma attack. Students also have the option of texting police in an emergency. As we can see cell phones can be a very comfortable option to emergencies in the school. Especially if you have a personal life or death situation and no one is around. Cell phones can also be used to get a ride after school and to notify parents of spontaneous after school meetings.

2. Cell phones can improve organization and save students money while helping the environment .

Cell phones have calendars and memos witch helps students remember homework and report due dates therefore possibly raising students grades. Students can take pictures of notes and reference them later or take pictures of a reading assignment and read it when they have free time. Students can also record a lecture and possibly fall a sleep if they want to( I don't know if this is good or bad but I just wanted to throw it out there.) Students can also now take notes on their phones witch means they save trees and money because students wont need to buy as much paper thus
reducing the deficit on the environment and save trees. So as we can see cell phones have a good economic advantage to students. In these tough economic times every penny we can save can help families economically. Lastly on this point if a student has a free period they can use their phones to keep track of the time so they can get to their next class on time.

3. Cell phones provide Internet access and calculators.

Some schools may not have good Internet access or none at all. These cell phones can connect to the Internet witch gives students additional educational resources. Internet access also means that students can instantly look up any information they can understand. Like if the teacher is using many big words the student can quickly find definitions via their phone rather than taking a long time and missing parts of the lecture while trying to find definitions from a dictionary. Cell phones also offer calculators. Calculators are expensive and schools may not be able to buy scientific calculators for advanced math and science. Most if not all cell phones have very advanced calculators. If the schools cant afford calculators why not let the students use their own? If students have access to calculators teachers have more time to teach materials due to decreased problem solving time.

Closing statement.

as we can see cell phones have multiple benefits. This resolutions benefits outweigh its prospective negative aspects. Cell phones improve school safety, improve organization and saves money while helping the environment, and they also provide Internet access and calculators to take advantage of for educational purposes. As we can see cell phones are a good thing to have in schools therefore this resolution ought to be affirmed according to my case and this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Well, I just want to say thanks to my opponent for accepting my challenge. Also, I never meant that students shouldn't be able to have them in school, I meant that students shouldn't be able to use them during the class.

Well first of all, my opponent admitted that cell phones do have a tendency to distract and annoy other students in the classroom. And yes, they can be used for safety; after class. I'm pretty sure students are nice and safe in the classroom. Now, this is under certain circumstances. I don't think that a student is going to get in trouble for using their phone if they got mugged.

Now I know there are some of us who will follow the rules, but lets face it, most students will abuse the power of being able to use their phone in class, whether it be for orginazation, internet access, or just recording lectures. They will look at videos, text, take videos or pictures, but most of all not learn or pay attention.

As to the matter of phones saving the environment, one tree makes about 80,500 sheets of paper, so that one 90 sheet notebook that you would use to take notes doesn't really make an impact on the "environmental deficit ". Furthermore, my opponent said that cellphones can help students take notes. My opponent stated that "every penny counts in these tough economic times." Well lets see, an average "smartphone", as my opponent said, costs anywhere from $200-$500, plus the plan and contract, another $100, which overall is about $400 as compared to a notebook and mechanical pencil for ohh, about $3.99 altogether.

Okay, my opponent said that using the internet during class can help them not miss parts of the lecture. Now to me this doesn't make sense. How can you be looking up a "big word" and still be attently listening to your proffessor? Now, some phones do provide internet access. I do not know if this subject in the debate is a good thing or bad thing because it has the potential to be a bad thing, so my opponent can't use this as an argument because this can be a good or a bad thing depending on the student using the Internet.

Okay now to the calculator. The thing with the calculator is that not everybody will need a calculator for their class(es). If your teacher gives you a problem, I'm pretty sure that they want to see if you know the material, not your calculator.

So I dont know about you, but to me it seems like common sense that con is the victor. I have disproved all of his statements and believe that you will make the right choice when it comes to the victor of this debate.


My opponent has attempted a refutation but has failed to adequately do so. I will point out these flaws I will quotate and underline my opponents statements.

Flaw 1-"Also, I never meant that students shouldn't be able to have them in school, I meant that students shouldn't be able to use them during the class."

My opponent is using the red hearing fallacy here. The resolution of this debate is cell phones should be allowed in school. Since the resolution is as stated above it is what we are going to debate. It seems my opponent is trying to change the subject because he no longer wants to assert the resolution. In witch case means he drops his case. Logically if you are not arguing for the resolution then you must be against it or have no opinion and we can not be servants to two masters so his opinion is either support the resolution or not. We cannot discuss what was meant to be said but exactly what the resolution is. When he made this debate he clicked the yes when it sad is this what you want to debate. So we cannot change the subject now .So I must ask my opponent is he against this resolution or not because as of this moment his position is not clear and/or contradictory.

Flaw 3- "my opponent admitted that cell phones do have a tendency to distract and annoy other students in the classroom."

My opponent is using the strawman fallacy here. I said that they can be a distraction but a positive one. Never did I say they annoy other students or distract other students.(Please refer to my second paragraph of round 2) It is obvious though that you think so. Typically students have their phones on silent unless teachers allow them to which is rare. Of course there is the argument based on induction that a student might forget to turn their phone on silent before they enter the class room. If it goes of what does he student do? He quickly turns it off. What does the teacher do? Usually nothing because the teacher knows the student will quickly turn it off to prevent any further disturbance or get the phone confiscated. So then I have to ask how are cells phones an annoyance or distraction that detriments the learning environment if the unlikely possibility of a student forgetting to turn their phone off is corrected quickly?

Flaw 4- "And yes, they can be used for safety; after class."

My opponent fails to realize that emergencies of security, and medical proportion can happen during school hours. Crime and medical emergencies don't hold themselves off until a student gets out of school. He dos not realize that a student could be by themselves somewhere in the school and stop breathing or have a life threatening emergency. If no one is around, how is that student going to get help? The student having that cell phone on him in school could be the difference of life and death for that student. So cell phones can be used for safety before, during and after class hours.

Unclear point 1- "I don't think that a student is going to get in trouble for using their phone if they got mugged."

Are you suggesting that a majority of students get mugged for their phones? and are you ignoring the fact that some if not most schools allow students to have cell phones?

Flaw 5- "Now I know there are some of us who will follow the rules, but lets face it, most students will abuse the power of being able to use their phone in class, etc....

Of course people are going to text etc... But does it really mater if students text or not? Here are the possibilities; It is possible to multitask texting and paying attention in class. I've done it my whole school career and I obtained great grades. How is this possible? I think it is the status quo that in class we take notes. Typically the teacher puts notes on the board etc.. If a student takes notes efficiently enough then they will have pauses in between the notes or after the notes to text. It is also possible that the students parents may need to get in touch with them during class for family emergencies and etc.. A student may be suicidal and need to talk to a friend for help. However If a student makes the stupid decision to text instead of paying attention or finding someway to mutitask it is there own fault. But, There are many things students will do when they don't care about class like drawing on paper, desks,pencils, and talking. So then should we then not allow students to use paper because it is possible that they may draw instead of pay attention? NO. Should We not allow students to sit in desks because they may possibly draw on desks instead of pay attention? NO should we ban pencils, and ban talking on the school grounds? NO. Do you see my point here? Im trying to assert that yes there are students that are not going to pay attention, that don't care about school and are going to do something else. We should not punish the majority for the disregard of the minority of that majority. It's just not fair nor is the positive prospects of cell phones worth loosing.

Flaw 6- "so that one 90 sheet notebook that you would use to take notes doesn't really make an impact on the "environmental deficit "

It seems my opponent doesn't recognize 90 as a number nor did he complete his math? 90 sheets of paper which he proposed times the number of students in your average high school ( my high school had about 1500 students) of course only counting students with cell phones who use the note taking feature multiplied by the number of schools available is a huge number my friend more than millions of trees can be saved this way. So how is this not helping the environment?

Flaw 7- "My opponent stated that "every penny counts in these tough economic times." Well lets see, an average "smartphone", as my opponent said, costs anywhere from $200-$500, etc...

This figure is based on the completely flawed assumption that at one time everyone is buying knew phones and plans. False. So ignoring the data my opponent proposed, my plan is about 80 a month. Of course that is more than pencil and paper. However I will partially accept this statement because a cell phone bill is more expensive over time then buying paper and pencil. His figure of the cost of paper and pencil is flawed as well because costs varies. However my opponent ignored everything else said in that paragraph. Cell phones can help students stay organized, keep up with assignments, act as a study aid during free periods, And decrease the strain on the environment witch is irrefutable.

(Im condensing now due to limited characters remaining.)

My opponent also made a statement about the recordings. What I proposed is looking up a word on your phone is faster than looking it up in the dictionary. Of course one may not pay full attention while looking up the word on the phone but neither would they while looking in the dictionary if not more with the dictionary. SO my opponents rebuttal to this point is invalid. He also attempts to say access to the Internet can possibly be bad so I can't use the point. That's not a good reason to not respond to my claim. Yes cell phones have good and bad. Pro and Con are presenting good and bad. Thus debating. It almost seems like my opponents logic is saying, " since this point is debatable then we should not debate it." That is not logical at all. There is no denying that some schools don't have Internet access. So then students who have access on their phones should be allowed to use their phones to help them and possibly the class in school.

About calculators, Con assumed all teachers don't want students to use calculators. My algebra, advanced functions, geometry etc classes allowed it. So obviously teachers do allow students to use calculators. Yes some students won't use them. That proves nothing.

As we can see con has made many flawed statements, and assumptions in this debate. All of my contentions are sound while cons case has been debunked. If we re-evaluate this debate, logically I believe it is justified to vote on pros behalf.
Debate Round No. 2
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by lilskeet17 2 years ago
so anybody here
Posted by lilskeet17 2 years ago
Posted by lilskeet17 2 years ago
i think that you should be abe to because emargcy calls
Posted by koppime 3 years ago
My school does allow phones..Pro says it all in the first round.
They help when we need calculators/internet, and keep us safe.
Also I use mine to take notes, and if practice is cancelled I can just text my mom instead of going all the way to the front office to call her when I should be working.
Posted by 13mshuster 3 years ago
I feel that cell phones are a good tool to use in the classroom only at appropriate times. During lunch, in between classes, before school, after school. I feel that the more teachers and educators ban them, the more the students are going to hide them and use them more during school. It would be less of a problem if the administration would allow them during the day as long as they are on silent.
Posted by Q12 3 years ago
I dont think cell phones SHOULDNT be allowed in school because maybe while the teacher is teaching in class the phone can ring ande in class
Posted by frozen_eclipse 3 years ago
thank you i appreciate the support.
Posted by Nick_Nakotne 3 years ago
Right off the bat with the first two rounds i can say, Frozen, you are a very strong debater. Keep up the good work. Lol.
Posted by frozen_eclipse 3 years ago
Wow your high school is very open minded. When i was in school our principal allowed it. But most teachers rejected his approval and still didn't allow students to have them out. However some teachers didnt care and or let us use phones for class an taking notes etc.. I do agree that atimes some teens are consumed by their phones and don't pay attention to anything else in life. That's irritating my little sister literaly stays on her phone all day.She of course had failing grades. Guess why she says she didnt hve time to do her homework. ( the hell???) yea we took that phone away and she started doing i. Its truely a shame. It's probably beause she was iven a phone to young. She was in 5t grade when she first recieved it. I believe i was a sophmore when i recieved my first phone. Iv'enever been addicted to it like most people are. Another thing i can't sand is texting while driving.
Posted by SovietskiChuda 3 years ago
For the record, my high school allows silent cell phone use in the hallways, lunch room, courtyards (essentially anywhere which isn't deemed as a classroom) this policy was instituted my Freshman year and it is still in place, and I am a Junior. I would say it has been successful as sometimes we can use our smart phones to help us with searching ones in class (with teachers permission) and we are allowed to use them as MP3 players when taking tests or doing individual work to keep us focused. Yes, it is easy to get distracted by them in class but the fact that cell phones are allowed in our school hasn't changed the amount of people who text in class.

However, I do not have a cell phone for personal reasons. It makes me sick to see all my peers consumed by their I-Phones in the hallways... I think cell phones prohibit human interaction, like when you are having a conversation with someone and they won't make eye contact with you because they are busy texting.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by M4sterDeb8er 4 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
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Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: frozen_eclipse demolished his opponent's argument, simple as that. motomoto41 did not provide any reasons to prohibit cell phones that stood any scrutiny, and I hence hand the debate over to Pro. Con tried to change his resolution mid-debate, so conduct also goes to Pro. frozen_eclipse made a lot of errors in spelling however, so I will have to give motomoto41 points for that. I didn't see sources, so that will be a tie.