In part one of this series we discussed the tremendous growth in cell phone use in the past decade, and the many benefits of families with children using cell phones. Not everything about cell phone use is positive.
Teachers and administrators tell a much different story, citing negative aspects of cell phones.
One topic that has received much media attention is sexting, the distribution of sexually suggestive images through text. Pew Internet Research finds only 4% of teen cell phone owners reported that they have sent these types of messages of themselves, and 15% said they have received one from someone they know.
Another growing concern is that the cell phone has become a new venue for harassment and bullying among teenagers. Over a quarter of teen cell phone users reported having been harassed by someone else through their cell phone. Girls are significantly more likely to experience this than boys.
Other issues include new forms of high tech cheating carried out through the cell phone by texting test answers to others, taking pictures of exams, taking pictures of textbook materials to bring into an exam, and getting answers online, especially through web sites that claim they will answer any question.
A quick glance around the internet finds that Delaware is not the only state where cell phone use is a hot back to school topic with many school districts trying to get the pulse of public opinion in their neighborhood, and come up with policies to adjust and adapt to this new wave of technology.
A change of policy in one of southern Delaware’s largest school districts was the topic of many recent conversations. At a recent special meeting of the Indian River Board of Education they approved a series of changes to the district’s policy regulating the possession and use of cell phones by students.
Under the revised policy, middle and high school students must power off all cell phones and either place them in their lockers prior to attending homeroom in the morning, or leave them in their vehicles prior to entering the building.
While mobile communications has given us great power, it has also caused our society great concern.
Other Articles in this series:
Delaware trends and concerns with cell phone use
New laws ban hand held cell phones by Delaware drivers
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