May 21, 2024 - Parenting

What Columbus readers think about cellphones in schools

Illustration of a cardinal sitting on a branch with a word balloon with a question mark in it coming out of its mouth.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Earlier this week, we reported on a new state law requiring school districts to limit students' cellphone usage.

  • Here's what you think about the issue of phones in schools:

Kurt M.: I have a sophomore and 8th grader who attend Columbus City Schools.

  • I think CCS has a sound policy of not allowing cellphones during the school day. If they were available, they would be a distraction for students.
  • Our justification as parents for allowing them to bring devices to school is to be able to communicate with us as needed when they are available … I think they are responsible enough to know when these use cases apply and when they don't.

Susan M.: I am a substitute teacher. These smartphones are absolutely destroying education.

  • Every single classroom I'm in has a school phone that both the teachers and kids can access in the case of an emergency.
  • If parents looked at their kid's screen time at the end of the school day they will be horrified.

Skylar C.: I'm a parent and I want my kids to have access to cellphones during the day for their safety.

  • It's absurd that the government would ban children's cellphones before it passes gun control legislation.
  • Until children don't have to do school shooter drills, they need access to phones.

Benjamin K.: Rather than banning phones, schools should find ways to integrate phones into modern pedagogy.

Josh D.: My 4th grader knows 9- and 10-year-olds with phones. They aren't a classroom distraction, but her bus ride (about seven minutes) has roughly one-third of kids with their faces buried in their phones rather than making a friend.

  • My 7th grader has not had (to my knowledge) problems with phones being a distraction in the classroom. However, the phones are a true source of drama after school. This comes in the form of gossip texting and cyberbullying on TikTok.
  • I wish we could wind back the clock a bit. We should have legislated no smartphones before 16 (or even 18) years old. Flip phones only for pre-teens.

David M.: This law shows how out-of-touch legislators and the governor are regarding students' phone use at school.

  • There isn't a district in Ohio that doesn't already have such a policy. Besides, the problem of student phone use isn't at school; it's at home.
  • But these so-called lawmakers can't legislate parental phone control, so they pretend to be concerned by passing an inane law that really doesn't mean anything.
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