Cell phones at school not the way to go

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 8, 2015

Mr. Pittari’s column on Saturday, July 25 about cellular telephones in public schools, I believe, overlooks two very important domestic issues.

First, with respect to parents directly contacting their children in the event of an emergency, in most instances, that action by a parent would appear to circumvent the school’s administrative protocol for emergency student contact.

On the one hand such direct contact would likely be disruptive to the general learning environment, and on another, could actually put a well formulated plan for school evacuation into disarray.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Parents needing to reach their children in an emergency situation should generally work through the channel established by school administrators, not their cellular-service provider.

Secondly, placing a cellular phone – be it a so-called “smart phone” or conventional clamshell model – unrestricted in the hands of a teenager during school hours, would guarantee an immediate break in the student’s mental focus and interrupt the learning experience, if and when the device buzzes or vibrates.

Heaven forbid that they could miss an all important text message, or an all-important Bff’s emergency selfie.

We are allowing modern communications technology to imprint us with co-dependant behavior, to the extent that we often clutch these devices like an infant’s security blanket; we can’t eat without having a view of the device’s screen; and some individuals even find it difficult to drive, without having the device pressed to their ear (observe other drivers during your morning commute, just to be sure; besides, what could be so important that they divide their focus from driving?)

Having a cellular telephone in the event of an emergency is well within reason – but the majority of the usage I have witnessed, appears to be 99 percent – personal entertainment. And if the student really needs “more information access” as Mr. Pittari has inferred – they should be directed to the school or public library – besides, what will they do when their batteries are drained?


Respectfully submitted,


Charles Conner