Cell Phones belong in school – especially in the 21st Century

Posted on May 28, 2013 by in Op-Ed

Cell Phones belong in school - especially in the 21st Century

William San Nicolas

Co-Editor in Chief

As a student subject to the rules of this school, I have found many regulations and policies to be quite helpful. Coupled with expectations of success, and working beyond what is asked for in the classroom, the standards here are something worth aspiring to.

The problem is, is that some of the rules have been outgrown not just by general society, colleges, and many volunteering agencies, but in the classroom as well. The unsung hero of the school, the cellphone, is responsible for several positive contributions to the average students’ success, including my own.

On my trips home, I navigate clusters of crazy folks that hang out not one block from the school, and having my phone ready gives me assurance that screaming for campus police at the La Brea bus stop does not.

My phone use extends past personal safety, it improves my ability to succeed during school hours as well. I have used it to contact my friends for updates on group activities when I or one of them fell ill and stayed home, kept it handy in case my friends and I were separated on a field trip, and I have witnessed several instances where teachers requested students to whip out their smart phones to look up facts or to participate in classroom activities such as taking notes on Today’s Meet, in which students’ notes are projected on the screen for all to see.

Cell phones definitely helped in my college preparations. The office hours of SDSU for example, were limited to weekdays and did not go past 3:00pm. These hours were for inquiries to their office of financial aid and other information resources. Some of the offices, like the financial aid one, did not accept emails. I did the responsible thing and violated the no cell phone rule to remain a well informed college bound student at Hollywood High.

Colleges do not play by the rules and make it easier for students to access them. Crazy people do not play by the rules and stay away from us just because we were at school that day. Diseases and accidents do not care whether or not I get my school work done. Teachers with new ideas that incorporate technology from the 21st century should not need to keep their brilliance on the down low.

Cell phones are too useful to be so callously and carelessly abandoned by the district and its supporters. It is true that they can be a distraction and have potential for malicious misuse, but so can sharpened pencils, paper, rulers, staplers and books. These items and cell phones all can cause mischief in their own way, but tell me this, which item is the only one that can get help when a nutcase attacks people with the pencil, sends threats and vulgarities via paper airplanes, bludgeons innocents with a large textbook and staples the unwary to one another with the stapler? Cell phones would look pretty good at that point.

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