Majority of NH citizens do not believe cell phones should be allowed in the classroom - 228 citizens, 430 responses

Nov 21, 2015

Recently, reports surfaced that Nashua school officials are considering updating the district’s policy on cell phone use in the classroom and plan to seek input from teachers on whether smartphones are problematic or beneficial to the learning environment. In response, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked Facebook members, “Should cell phones be allowed in the classroom?” 

A total of 92% of respondents answered directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, a 74% majority said cell phones should not be allowed in the classroom with 26% in favor of allowing them. Of the remaining respondents, 7% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while less than 1% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 228 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 430 responses. 

For those of the majority opinion, many argued that cell phones represent a distraction in the classroom. One respondent remarked, “If you think that students are going to use them exclusively as learning tools, you have got to be terribly naive.” Several respondents framed their opinions within a larger context, as one noted, “Between the electronic distractions—and many are school-issued, like iPads and netbooks—peer dramas, behavior problems, and bad home environments, it's a wonder any learning is going on in classrooms anymore.”

Others, however, said cell phones should be allowed in case of an emergency. “Most often a cell phone is a great way to contact help,” noted one woman. Others suggested that teachers themselves should possess the authority to mandate cell phone policies, while several distinguished between having a cell phone in the classroom and actually using it. One respondent, a teacher, added, “In my classroom, all cell phones are turned off or turned in.”

For respondents who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, several discussed the merits of a child learning of a family tragedy on a cell phone as opposed to at home, while some noted the issue is somewhat complex. One respondent cited a personal experience, as he said, “A teacher once prevented me from answering my phone when my sister was calling me for an emergency.”

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Do you think cell phones should be allowed in the classroom? Why or why not? Leave a comment! 

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