Cell phones and school safety: They are often disruptive to the educational process and can create unsafe conditions in an emergency. Yet many students and parents want them. Now, some politicians want to ban their use in schools.

Posted by on April 7, 2024

Teachers find that cell phones create classroom distractions. School administrators find they accelerate bullying and conflicts. However, many students — and some very vocal parents — often feel they are essential to school safety.

But are the cell phones an emotional security blanket for parents even more than a security tool for students? Some now argue that the real problem is parents who are texting their children throughout the day while their kids are school.

And in an emergency incident at school, they can detract from school safety in a number of ways.

The pendulum continues its swing back and forth on student use of cell phones in schools. In my updated webpage on the evolution of cell phones in schools linked here, I take a look at the historical swings and the polarized opinions that oftentimes use school safety to justify particular stances on the issue.

While I believe student cell phone issues are issues to be determined by local school boards, administrators, staff, students, and school-communities, one thing is clear: Student use of cell phones presents very specific challenges to school safety, especially in an emergency situation, and school leaders need to prepare accordingly.

Dr. Kenneth S. Trump is President of National School Safety and Security Services  

National School Safety and Security Services

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