Schools…Cell Phones…Oh My!


My co-workers never cease to amaze me.  Unfortunately, it is not a, “Wow!  That was AMAZING!” all smiles kind of amazing, it’s a “Wait…did they really just say/do that?”  *Facepalm* kind of amazing.  It’s frustrating sometimes. 

Earlier this morning I overheard the following statement: “It’s really ridiculous for anyone to expect parents to give their kids cell phones.  I think everyone knows that kids need a cell phone.  What if something happens at school and they need to reach their parents, especially if it’s an emergency?  If our schools were really concerned about the safety of our children, and they should be, schools should be required to supply all students with a cell phone.  It really is the school’s responsibility.”

Did you catch that?  I’ll give you a minute to re-read it.  Go ahead.  One more time. 

Let me identify the parts that really jumped out at me.

“It’s really ridiculous for anyone to expect parents to give their kids cell phones.  I think everyone knows that kids need a cell phone.  What if something happens at school and they need to reach their parents, especially if it’s an emergency?  If our schools were really concerned about the safety of our children, and they should be, schools should be required to supply all students with a cell phone.  It really is the school’s responsibility.”

Seriously?  Apparently it is the opinion of this fine woman that schools hold the responsibility of supplying every child with a cell phone.  I guess I can see that, what with all of the extra funding and surplus of money that our school systems have (that is sarcasm by the way).  Our school systems are already struggling.  They have underpaid teachers, poor resources, and out of date technology.  They have overcrowded classrooms, too little quality support, and nearly impossible standards.  A single classroom may contain 30 children (20 boys, 10 girls, 6 who speak English as a Second Language, and 4 with a learning disability.  Many of these children will come from broken families and divorced parents, a few of these children will have abusive families at home (physical or emotional) and a few will come from poor economic conditions which means that they cannot afford clothes, shoes, school supplies or lunch.  This classroom will have one teacher, one teacher’s aide (if they are lucky!) and 2 computers (at most) and a cabinet of extra school supplies that a woefully underpaid teacher has purchased her/himself because they care about and love their students.  The schools have so little money that they restrict the number of photocopies a teacher can make during the school year so those copies of worksheets and questions that are given out to the students must be continually reused.  Students must write on their own notebook paper (you know…that paper that some families can’t afford and teachers buy out of their own pocket?)

Our school systems are already depressed, inadequate, poorly funded and lack public support.  Our teachers and administrators aren’t respected or supported nearly like they should be.  They arrive at school while you are still getting your child ready to leave the house, they stay after school to coach sports, teach arts, music, dance, or theatre, they prepare the yearbooks, lead committees, and encourage other extracurricular activities.  They monitor after-school programs on campus and then go home to grade papers, homework, and tests during time that most people would spend with their own families.

Yet, none of this matters to my co-worker.  Her only concern is that the school system, which doesn’t pay teachers what they deserve and is unable to fund the supplies and necessities for the classroom, somehow find a way to provide every single student a cell phone.  After all, kids need a cell phone and it’s definitely not the parent’s responsibility.

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12 thoughts on “Schools…Cell Phones…Oh My!

  1. Oh good Lord, seriously? And kids need that cell phone so badly that their parents can’t supply it? They have landlines at the Office btw, wherein emergencies can be handled, and have been handled for decades…

    • I agree completely. I didn’t have a cell phone when I was in school. If there was an emergency, illness, injury I went to the office and waited while my parents were called. It’s been that way for forever. I survived and today’s kids will too.

      • Exactly. I’ve had that call from the office, and its immediate and clear and from a responsible adult rather than who-knows-what-I’d-hear from my 10 year old.

  2. Wanna know something funny? My older son has a cell phone (supplied by his dad). He turns it off in school. Two years ago, I had to get an urgent message to him at school and I called the school’s office and I was told by the administrative assistant to call his cell phone! I told her no – that will not work and that I need him pulled out of class immediately and that it was her job to see that this was done – whether he had a cell phone or not! Needless to say, my son was located (big school, over 4000 students).

    • Lol. Oh Lord. Does it never end? Ten years ago who would have imagined that cell phones and schools would become such a major issue. Most schools require phones be shut off and put away. I’m surprised she would tell you to call his cell.

  3. That thought that schools need to supply students with cell phones is ridiculous. I know that even though I am a student! And I know a perfect replacement if you don’t have a cell phone: the school office.

  4. This was really moving. My wife is a teacher. I’m pretty familiar with the extra lengths that (some)teachers go to in order to make sure that they do everything in their power to ensure a successful environment for their students. It’s very touching to realize that other people also recognize that teachers go above and beyond, a lot of the time.
    Having come from a family with nurses and lots of firefighters I get to see behind the scenes a lot. I think it’s frightening when we stop and think about all the people we end up taking for granted. I include myself in this group. We sometimes forget about the people behind the offices.
    thank you for this.

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