CABA 2015 Essay Contest
All Winners pictured with: Jim Rosenblatt, Law Related Co-Chairman; Mike Malouf Jr., CABA President; Winners parents; Lauren Lawhorn, Law Related Chairman
1st Place Essay
To what extent should a school be able to regulate the use of a cell phone during school hours by its students? What interests are involved (property, safety, emergency, privacy, disciplinary?
There are several reasons why schools should be able to regulate students' cell phones during school hours. School is a time to learn and get prepared for future life. Students may sometimes get off task and worry about their cell phones at school. For example, if a student has a cell phone in class, he may be worried about playing his favorite game on his phone. This could distract the student from learning and he would never get anything out of the class. Each student has to be responsible and not be concerned about his/her cell phone when he/she is supposed to be learning in class. Not only is it disruptive to the student with the cell phone, but it can be distracting to classmates. Also, during a test, a student may be tempted to look up answers, which is considered cheating. These are some valid reasons why a school should regulate cell phone use during school hours.
There are just as many reason why schools should not regulate cell phones. One of the biggest reasons why students should have access to cell phones during school hours is safety. For example, it allows students to communicate with parents, especially during an emergency. It also helps with coordinating schedules for after-school activities or appointments. Some students might have a problem with a school restricting the use of property that is owned, and was purchased, by the student/student's family. Because the school did not contribute to the purchase of the cell phone, some believe the school should not be able to limit the use of it. Lastly, if the school makes students turn in their phone before class, there could be some privacy issues. The teacher or the school could look at a students private information on his/her cell phone. These are good examples of why schools should not be able to restrict the use of cell phones entirely during school hours.
In my opinion, I think schools be able to regulate the use of cell phones, but they should have some hours for cell phone use in case of emergencies or for safety reasons. I think that each student should turn off his/her cell phone and put it into his/ her backpack or somewhere out of reach during class time. If the student uses a cell phone during an unauthorized time, the cell phone should be taken and put in a place where others cannot access the information on the phone. The student would be able to retrieve his/her phone after school hours. I think that students should enjoy the benefits and advantages of cell phones, while complying with the school's policy on cell phone usage. This is necessary to ensure that all students get the most benefit from attending school.