Should WE Ban Smartphones in Schools?

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Smartphones are a problem for kids because of the troubling content they have access to. So should smartphones be in schools?

Should kids in the U.S. have smartphones in schools? Parents everywhere will be talking about that issue now that France has banned them in their public schools. France’s Minister of National Education took the lead last year to ban smartphones for kids ages 15 and younger. The ban is now in effect. 
    “These days, the children don’t play at break anymore, they are just all in front of their smartphones and from an educational point of view, that’s a problem,” Blanquer said.
    France is hoping to cut back on the bullying porn-sharing kids can do with phones. 

In Other Countries …

In an ironic twist, the U.S. now allows kids to use their smartphones in school more than ever.  Italy recently reversed it’s ban — aiming to encourage phones more as learning devices. In the U.K., some schools have banned smartphones while others have lax restrictions. And back here in the U.S. — where we deal with that nagging worry about school shootings — many parents want to be able to contact their kids at all times, the heck with the learning.

So, what’s best? Should we ban smartphones from schools?

Do Our Schools REALLY Have a Handle on Phones?

We all have our love-hate relationships with our smartphones because we have to manage them constantly. In the work place, they’re often banned from meetings so full attention is given. All ages of phone users feel the non-stop tug of the beloved gadgets.

Our schools rapidly came up with smartphone policies and it sort of feels like they have a handle on them — but do they? Since kids are better at finding “loopholes” long before adults are, you have to wonder if policies are really working … or if adults just think they are.

Still, banning smartphones from the classroom doesn’t make sense to me. Enforcing solid policies for their usage does. Kids know it’s rude to break rules, and that they’ll face consequences if they’re caught. Just like us, they have to learn self-moderating behavior and how to live with a phone without it dominating their lives. And let’s not forget they’re kids! Kids who have to manage exciting friendships with a whole lot of texting!

Schools take a big role in educating our young until they are old enough to take their place in adult society. Let’s not get all frantic about smartphones in kid hands at school. Instead, let’s keep on with teaching responsible use. We ALL need to master it.

Susan Swindell Day is editor in chief of this publication and the mom of four great kids.

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