Text Messaging Disrupting Classrooms

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

Anyone who has sat in a classroom knows it's easy to get distracted, and now there's another distraction teachers are concerned about.

"It's become the way of disrupting class. We used to pass notes or talk. Now they text message," Steve Buffington, Assistant Principal at Williamstown High, said.

Sophomore Cody Kelley admits, he's guilty.

"You don't have the teacher see you. You can just like kind of secretly talk," Kelley said.

With this new form of high-tech note passing, students aren't really afraid of getting caught, but at Williamstown High, teachers are taking an old-school approach to new technology.

"If it's a first offense, they get their phone back. If it's a second offense, their parent must come pick up their phone, and it it's third offense, then suspensions can begin," Buffington said.

Teachers like Ron Lathey say this new policy is helping class run smoother.

"They realize that the punishments are a little bit stricter and a little bit tougher this year," Lathey said.

A risk Cody is finished taking.

"I don't want to take the chance of getting in trouble," Kelley said.

But many students are still willing to take that chance.

"It's a big problem," Buffington said. "I usually get five to six phones a day."

Students in 9th through 12th grades are allowed to have their phones with them during school, but can only text at lunch.

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  • by Timm R Location: Parkersburg on Sep 21, 2008 at 04:33 PM
    "Outlaw cell phones"? Talk about naïve. I suppose you also 'grew up' without air conditioning, markerboards, computers, mechanical pencils, and ministaplers — and each one of those can be a distraction if you let an idiot near them. Cell phones aren't different. (Awareness of the world and how it advances didn't come with 'growing up', did it?) I, for one, as a student, admit its potential disruption — when put in the palms of those who hardly care about school. I like to think myself one of the better regulation-abiding students and I have also texted in class — but I never waste my time joking with friends or wondering about going to some social event later tonight. If I text in class, it pertains to something important or pertinent. I would call a friend dumb if they randomly sent me "lol what u doin?" during the middle of period in which I obviously have class. To imply ridding of any form of advancement in any public place is naïvely idiotic. I'd rather combat bad behaviour.
  • by mom Location: parkersburg on Sep 21, 2008 at 07:18 AM
    anon don'y blame the parents! These children are old enough and responsible enough to NOT use there phones when they aren't supposed. My daughter is responsible for what she does.I have told her what is acceptable and what is not the rest is up to her!She lost her phone because looking at phone bill I realised she had been texting in class.Thats half the problem with today's teens they have no consequences for their actions.The police won't even do anything to them and it all the parents fault!When I was a kid and got in trouble I owned up and took the consequences not my parents!
  • by Anonymous on Sep 21, 2008 at 06:14 AM
    I see this everyday as one of my co-workers texts her child when they should be in class learning. One would think a parent would discourage this behavior instead of contributing to the problem.
  • by C on Sep 20, 2008 at 06:37 PM
    I agree that cell phones should NOT be allowed in school. Why do the kids need them there in the 1st place? They Don't. Once again, we have the school system trying to handle issues that the parents should be handling. No wonder the kids are graduating and are not even intellectually on the 12th grade level. While you're driving, look around and see how many kids you see driving cars while texting on their phones - it's amazing!! Have any of you parents seen the news lately regarding the train engineer that was texting just before running a red light and hitting another train head-on? Think about it and don't think your child "would never text while driving or in class", because it's happening every day.
  • by cody Location: kelley on Sep 20, 2008 at 10:07 AM
    wow....i didnt know what to say.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 19, 2008 at 07:06 PM
    Outlaw cell phones at school all together.We all grew up without them...so why do todays kids need them? It is also the parents fault. They gave to them in the first place.
  • by Maxine Location: Ohio on Sep 19, 2008 at 04:48 PM
    I feel that cell phones should be kept in their lockers until lunch time when they are allowed to use them. The High School that my son attends only allows usage at lunch, and penalties are still if caught with them in class or in the hallway. I think with the increase in camera phones and texting, it sets up an environment that would induce kids to cheat. I think the stricter the rules on cell phone use, the better.
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