Cell phones in the classroom | Arkansas Blog

Cell phones in the classroom

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State rules still prohibit students from taking mobile phones to school. (Am I right? Does this stem from an anti-drug initiative of Bill Clinton way back when and the concern was beepers, not phones?)

Anyway, I'm surprised the rule has held, given the fact that it's a rare teenager who isn't surgically attached to a cell phone. But I also understand the usefulness of the rule. I went to a concert recently in which a field trip school delegation made up about half the audience. Every one of them was intent on his or her phone throughout, madly thumbing texts back and forth.

I'm reminded because the Little Rock School Board tonight is going to consider a proposal to stiffen punishment for having a phone in school. For example: Where a first offense in high school now brings a 24-hour confiscation of the device and required pickup by an adult, the first offense confiscation would be extended to five days, with adult pickup.

PS — Though they remain in the minority, some schools nationwide have moved to embrace technology and use portable devices in class. The vote tonight is at a special meeting, rather than a regular board meeting, which means public comment won't be possible. That's too bad. Some parents might have some interesting things to say.

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