It is quite common for teenagers to own cellular phones these days. In fact, many parents purchase cell phones for their sons and daughters as soon as—if not before—they reach the teenage years. A lot of parents appreciate that with cell phones, it is much easier to remain in contact with their teens. Parents are able to keep in touch with their kids and know their whereabouts at all times. And, with their teens carrying cell phones, parents have a way to quickly reach them if there is an emergency.
In New York, parents are especially concerned about this issue. Since the terrorist attacks in September of 2001, parents are increasingly in favor of having their teens carry cell phones at all times—even in school. And, these parents want their kids to have these cell phones turned on and accessible.
Unfortunately for the parents, however, the schools disagree. School officials believe that allowing teens to keep their cell phones turned on during the school day is distracting, at best. At worst, teens could use their cell phones for dishonest purposes, such as using text messaging or web access in order to cheat on an exam.
The schools and the parents have been battling this issue for quite some time in the courts—this is quite a serious concern for both sides. As it stands now, however, parents are not on the winning side. State courts have agreed with the schools, saying that students may carry their cell phones to school—but, they may not have them turned on during the school day.
School officials believe that parents and teens should have the ability to communicate during the day; however, they say that there is ample time for this before and after school. Cell phones and education do not go together, they say—and, perhaps they have a point.