letter to editor stock art typewriter and notebook

Using them in cars was finally banned except for hands-free due to accidents.

The accident in schools is that the kids are losing a lot of potential education time because they are allowed to have their phones, some of the time. I’m currently a substitute paraprofessional in Eastern Carver County, and have worked as a para in Minnetonka and Hopkins. My limited online research shows that it is up to individual teachers’ discretion to monitor cell phone use in classrooms. The language I found surrounding cell phone policy use is under the umbrella of safe use of technology and the internet in general. Pocket-sized access to friends and anything else you can Google is another matter. It’s my experience that cell phones are only a distraction and detriment to learning, and never a positive or useful tool. I spend more than half of my day telling kids to put their phones away or turn off inappropriate lyrics. It’s just senseless to allow them in schools. I can’t come up with one logical reason for their continued use, except that no one wants to listen to the whining when the children can’t have their toys. Kids can use computers for research, and parents can contact the office for emergencies. There is no positive to the policy of allowing schoolchildren of any age to use their phones at school. I have even witnessed teachers and paras texting their own kids during the school day from the teacher’s lounges, just to stay in touch. Leave the kids alone to navigate their day. They don’t need hovercraft parents, and the teachers and paras at their kids’ schools don’t need to hear children of other school staff members, saying that they have to take “urgent” calls or texts from their parents. It’s such a waste of time and resources.

That line in a Nirvana song keeps rolling around in my mind, “Here we are now, entertain us." In schools, it should be, “Here we are now, educate us.”

Oh — France banned cell phones in most schools last year.

Julie Funderburk

Excelsior

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