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Should Cell Phone Use In School Be Allowed?

In today’s society, it’s the norm for kids as young as 8 to have a cell phone. Educators and parents continue to debate whether or not kids should be allowed to use cell phones in school.

Over the years, the percentage of public schools who do not allow cell phone use has greatly decreased. In 2015 – 2016, 66% of schools prohibited phone use, which is down from 90% in 2009 – 2010.

Based on those statistics, it’s clear that the views on cell phone use in schools are changing. What are the pros and cons of school cell phone use? What do parents and educators think about this subject? We discuss this below.

Pros and Cons of Cell Phone Use In School

cell phone use in school
Do your school students keep their cell phone on their desk?



– Smartphone Apps For Educational Purposes

Cell phones are not just for texting or browsing. There are educational smartphone applications that can be used in the classroom as well.  

Some of these apps include:

  • Dictionary
  • Photomath
  • My Study Life
  • OneNote
  • Periodic Table

These applications can aid students in learning and managing schoolwork.

– If There’s An Emergency, You Can Call 911

Having a cell phone at school is not just for educational purposes, but for emergency situations as well. If a fellow student or teacher has a medical emergency, someone needs to call 911 for an ambulance. What if there’s a school shooting? Immediately contacting the authorities is crucial to keep school faculty and students safe.

– Teaches Responsibility

Many believe that having a cell phone helps teach students responsibility. Kids need to learn when it’s appropriate to use their phone, and when they should put it away. If they misuse their phone during school, they need to take responsibility for their actions.


– Distracts From School Work

Cell phones can distract students from completing and focusing on their class work. Today’s kids would rather be on social media, text messaging, or taking selfies than doing work. This is a dilemma for teachers who are just trying to do their job and educate their students. Instead, they have become the cell phone police.

– Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is already a major issue in schools. Add cell phone use, and the amount of cyberbullying incidents is sure to rise. Most cyberbullying occurs on social media, forums, and through text messages.

– Test Cheating

Students having access to smartphones makes it easy for them to cheat on tests. All they have to do is open notes on their phone and hold it sneakily under their desk. It’s easy to cheat on a test when you have technology in the palm of your hand.

– Too Much Screen Time Use

Allowing cell phone use in school would increase students’ screen time use. They already are spending most of their day on computers, playing video games, and watching television. Is looking at a cell phone at school really necessary? There are health effects associated with too much screen time including eye tiredness, blurry vision, and headaches. Also, it has been proven that children who spend too much time in front of a screen do poorly at school.  

Here is an example of one school and their cell phone policy.


What Parents & Teachers Have To Say

Parents and educators have varied opinions on whether or not cell phone use should be allowed in school. We asked this very question, and here’s what they had to say.

“I think cell phones are more trouble than good. I have a hard time getting my kids to concentrate on homework just knowing the phone or tablet is in the house. I can’t imagine them being helpful in an already chaotic school environment.”

April, Mother of 2

“Phones in school can be annoying, but most of the kids respect a no phone rule, as long as you establish guidelines at the beginning of the year. The positive about having cell phones in school are apps like Remind, which help students and teachers stay in touch about assignments, tests, and activities.”

Molly, Middle School Teacher

“I don’t know how teachers get through the day with cell phones in school. It’s got to be a huge distraction. I know the modern world isn’t going backwards, and I see how keeping in touch with your child is vital. But I’m glad I’m not a teacher.”

Lyn, Mother of 2


Based on what you just read, do you believe cell phone use in school should be permitted? An easy solution is for educators to use monitoring software to make sure students don’t misuse their phones.

Related Post: Do You Know Your Child’s Teacher? These 3 Stories Will Shock You! 


About Pat S.
Blogger, writer, yoga enthusiast, and cell phone monitoring software expert.

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