The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

cellphone should be restricted in school

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,174 times Debate No: 19206
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




No Cell Phone Restrictions in School
At many schools, cell phones are a constant source of frustration for students and teachers alike. Some school policies require that students' cell phones are not allowed at school, and many students find such a long period of disconnectedness unbearable. Teachers, meanwhile, feel overwhelmed by the administration's mandate to report or confiscate any cell phones they see, when they might see a dozen of them in the halls during class change on any given day.
Therefore the cell phone has instead become an incredibly impulsive object that frequently deepens or even creates the rifts that can so easily form between teachers and students. If that does not seem like a serious enough problem to you, consider the Public School Review's report that the City of New York's general ban on cell phones in public schools resulted in parents suing the city on the grounds of a student rights violation. In this debate, I will propose a nearly 180-degree turn: Students should be allowed full use of their cell phones during school hours. My value is education, which the public schools purport to be, after all, their raison d'�tre.
Here is my three-point argument, which I will rebuild as necessary in the succeeding rounds: Teachers can help show that everything in life is not texting or talking. Understanding that when a teacher's cell phone is ringing she ignores it because she respects the students and the student might think that he wants to be like that. And when emergency calls occur during class what will happen.
* * * Point 1 * * *
The cell phone is an object that is completely legal to possess, and any school policy that treats it as especial contraband is likely to interfere more rather than less with the educational process. Yale Professor James P. Comer, M.D. summed up education most eloquently when he said, "No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship of mutual respect, teacher to student." Consider the students who struggle mightily to resist looking at their cell phones during a class period or those who surreptitiously look at their phones under their desks or jackets—does this struggle help or hurt their relationships with the teacher, whose class is the very obstacle to their cell phone gratification? Furthermore, how much mental effort is wasted on either anxiety or trying not to get caught while secretly having the phone out?

* * * Point 2 * * *
The education that takes place in our schools must contain an element of socialization—preparing us to conduct ourselves in a socially acceptable manner in the outside world—and barring a device that is today everywhere to the point of being virtually prosthetic strikes dead on arrival any possibility of teaching our students to use cell phones responsibly. Many teachers cannot go an entire school day without using their cell phones, whether to make after-work plans with friends and loved ones, to reschedule appointments, or even to check up on their own children who are in schools where cell phones are banned! Furthermore, most students know this, so an uncomfortable double standard is maintained while teachers are deprived of an opportunity to model for their student's mature usage of a cell phone. Imagine the student's reaction in a school with no cell phone restrictions: "Wow—Teacher got a call while she was helping me but she just let it ring. That was really considerate of her! I want to be like that."

* * * Point 3 * * *
Parents use cell phones as a way to communicate with their children during the school day, and no education can take place if a student is anxious about possible changes in the family schedule or, more likely, going to the restroom during class time to text his or her parent. Furthermore, education is a much smoother endeavor if parents and teachers are working together rather than at loggerheads. In an article in NEA Today, 21-year teaching veteran and previous National Board for Professional Teaching Standards committee member Gail Washburn responds to the argument that parents communicated just fine with their children before cell phones. She emphasizes that today we have more mothers working outside the home and more fathers commuting farther away to work, which inevitably results in more scheduling uncertainty and with it the need for flexibility—and frequent communication.


Cell phones should definitely not be banned but they certainly should be restricted.

Cell phones are completely legal to posses but here are some other things that are legal to possess and own, however their are certain conditions that exist where that right may be harmful to others. If I am in the middle of a class trying to take notes to desperately pass an upcoming test and the girl sitting next to me talks to herself as she types out a text message on her phone then that could be distracting not only to me, but to other students and to even the teacher as well. Since classes are usually less than an hour long such precious time such as a teacher having to tell 1 student to put their phone away possibly multiple times would cost the teacher valuable time to teach the class about the subject the test is going to be on.

Have you ever been in a class when someones phone went off as you were silently reading? How annoying was that? What if they had a really obnoxious ringtone that was very distracting to your reading. Now imagined if that person were allowed to answer their phone in the middle of class and start having a conversation with somebody on their phone while your trying to read a book that you have to read mostly because you were assigned to do so and not because you actually want to read the book. If cell phones were not restricted in class then an already distracting situation could escalate into something far worse.

Your idea of a double standard isnt necessarily true because the teacher would never whip out their cell phone right in the middle of a class lecture or a lesson to start texting someone. They have the courtesy and respect to wait until after class is over to text whoever it is they need to contact. Students though often text non stop throughout the class and disregard what anyone but the teacher says, so your idea of a double standard being implemented from barring cell phone use is only true in rare cases. A majority of the time it is the students who are abusing their use of cellphones.

Socialization skills is very important especially when your growing up, but texting isnt the only way to talk to people.... Whenever a class starts the teacher is just as likely to say "quiet down kids" as "put your phones away" so if you ban cellphone use in classrooms you are only putting a temporary limit on how children can socialize and communicate.

Also texting isnt how we teach students how to socialize, that is learned at an early age when talking is the primary form of socialization. In elementary school students are taught the letters in the alphabet not the letters of a keyboard. What I am saying is that texting may be a very large form of socialization, it is not the only one, nor is it the main form of communication, and also by the time students reach high school or college a limit on cell phone use wont cause a breakdown in their socialization skills....

Parent communication with their children while they are at school is important, but how often do we really have to worry about how our families are planning things out at home? If your in high school chances are your parents are aware of it. They of all people know when school starts, when school gets out, when you start to head home or when you usually notify them that school is over. We do not live in a world where nobody has a clue what anyone else is doing and the only way we can find out about anything is by confirming it through text message exchanges

Also about education, students who use cell phones during tests are cheating the system entirely! They could easily be surfing google for the answers or asking the person across the room what the fourth root of 16 is. Cell phone use in this case is justified because then those who truly respect the education system, teachers, and how to act in class will reap the rewards over those who are more concerned about socializing.

To summarize, reasons why limiting cell phone use in schools could be justified
1) They could distract others trying to learn in class
2) It costs teachers precious time to teach what must be taught in an already small time window.
3) It does not handicap the development of social skills in students
4) They could use them to cheat on their tests
5) Teachers are there to help us learn and they should be given our full and undivided attention and cellphone use interferes with that
6) Restricting cell phone use does not create a double standard that the con suggests
7) Students do not always have to keep in constant contact with their parents throughout school every day of the year.
8) Students are entitled to have cell phones but that does not mean they are entitled to using their cellphones with no restrictions
9) lets face it if you cannot go an entire school day without texting someone somewhere at least 4 times every class period youve probably become addicted to your cell phone and at that point cell phone use could be unhealthy

Vote Pro :D
Debate Round No. 1
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
That makes sense but Im arguing that completely legalizing cell phone use would cause many more distractions in class and deteriorate education
Posted by kyro90 5 years ago
No Offense, but its kind of a waste debating this because no matter what people are still going to "Attempt" to use there cell phones during school hours no matter what. In the school where I go to we are not allowed to use our cell phones during class, and yet people do it. Its sorta just the circle on life I guess?
Posted by awesomeness 5 years ago
that was a really good debate right
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by innomen 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's tactic of a reasonable restriction, or some restriction versus a full ban and confiscation, or total access was more convincing.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: It was even, so thats why I made it like this. (I read it twice good job you two)