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Should Schools Ban Cellphones to Stop Cyberbullying?

The Middletown Moms Council chimes in on the controversial issue legislators are considering at the State House today.

Today, the Rhode Island General Assembly is scheduled to hold a hearing on a proposed bill that would ban cellphones from school property. 

State Senator JohnTassoniJr. has sponsored Senate bill No. 0764. A copy of the bill may be viewed in the image gallery at right.

The idea, reportedly, is to curb the cases of  by taking away the devices that help make these incidents possible.   

So we ask you . . .

Question: What do you think about banning cellphones from schools to prevent cyberbullying?

Robyn, Mother 2 daughters, 1 high school and 1 in college

While it is easy to find reasons why we shouldn't ban cellphones in schools, I think it is definitely the way to go. Not only will it help cut down on cyberbullying, but also cheating, drug dealing, sexting and more. I am honestly surprised it has taken this long and that cyberbullying is the impetus for the ban. The biggest question is where will they be allowed? In lockers? Cars? Can we really expect kids to go home and get their phones after school? Will we need to reinstall pay phones so kids can contact their parents? Maybe instead of a ban they should create a way to scramble the signal at schools instead so that the phones just don't work on the premises.

Sarah, Mom of 2 toddlers  

I don't think that removing the cellphones from school is going to prevent cyberbullying. All it takes is one kid to get another kids' cellphone number or email address and the bullying can begin just as easily off school grounds. It may be less frequent during the school day, but it will still happen. And maybe if it is happening at school, the bullies will be more likely to get caught. If they want to talk about banning cellphones, it should be to prevent distractions in class and to focus on learning.

Carmela, Mom of a pre-teen, teen and adult

When I read the articles now being written on the subject, I have to agree with many educators who say that schools across the country and locally already have cellphone policies in place. Our own schools do in our district. Our administrative staff and teachers work hard to abide by the policy but enforcement is a difficult task. This law would do nothing more than hand down yet one more mandate to our schools with no plan in place to enforce it.

We currently ban texting while driving.  Ask your local law enforcement officer how easy that is to enforce. Is the use of cellphones for destructive purposes a problem?  Yes, indeed it is. All you have to do is open your web browser or paper to see that. But is legislating it away the answer? I can't see how it can be.

There has to be a technological solution to a technological problem.

Maybe our legislators can fund a contest to see what inventor out there can build the better mousetrap to solve this problem instead of paying for whatever resources would need to be implemented to enforce this ban. In the vernacular of the kids, I'm just sayin'.

Lori Loughlin April 27, 2011 at 08:45 PM
I agree: I fail to understand the correlation of legislating a ban on the use of cellphones while in school and incidents of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can take place at any time by any means available to a student once off school property. Thus, incidents can still occur whether there is a ban or not. And then as Robyn points out, where do you allow students to keep cellphones?? or do you allow them on school property at all??? If anything, what might be needed is a mandate that each and every school district adopt some sort of cellphone use policy with a defined plan to insure it can and will be enforced with the resources available to that district.
L. A. Raymond April 27, 2011 at 09:01 PM
I feel that cell phones should be banned. But its a good point - where do you keep them. We are so oriented around cell phones these days- how would we function without them. Its kind of ironic when you think about it. I recently read a new book out about a mom whose daughter was in elementary school and was lamenting the fact that a major incident happened at the school and because unlike the buses there was no recording equipment they had to rely on cell phone video accounts. An interesting time we live in. What did people ever do in the olden days-- you know 1995? Before most everyone had cell phones... lets not even dwell on the 80's and prehistory.
Jasper April 28, 2011 at 05:25 AM
Cell phones should have never been allowed in school. Kids don't need them, it is just a luxury for parents. If you know where your kids are then they don't need them.
Npt Native April 28, 2011 at 08:17 PM
My kids are walkers. I don't let them leave without their phones. That means the phones go to school with them.
jim April 28, 2011 at 08:34 PM
call me old fashiond. but phones do not belong in the schools period. short but to the point. keep them home or in the lockers.
Joannie Loves Chachi April 29, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Parents should be able to program their kids cell phones so that they can be disabled during certain hours of the day (such as school hours) and during those times can only be used in either an emergency (911) or to call only home / parents' pre-programmed phone numbers. There should be an app for that!

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