What Do You Think?: Using Cell Phones in Class
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6:14PM
Lynda Rae in cell phones, cheating, peer pressure, texting

What do you think about this scenario?

Ryan, a 7th grade student, is so excited because his grandpa just bought him a cell phone. His mom wasn’t very happy with it, and wanted him to leave it at home on school days, but Ryan convinced her it would be okay, that he’d only use it for “emergencies”.

The first few days, he kind of forgot that he even had it, and it stayed in his backpack until after school. But then one day during Nutrition, a bunch of his friends were showing each other a hilarious YouTube video. They told Ryan to check his phone, that they’d texted him the website and he should watch it. By the time he started watching the video, he had to get to his next class. He knew his teacher always started things slow, so he kept watching and finished when he arrived. But he didn’t have anyone to talk with about it when he got to class. He was bursting and really wanted to share his reactions with his friends, so he started a group text when the teacher wasn’t looking. He was nervous he’d get caught, but the teacher didn’t seem to notice. Pretty soon, class was over. He had no idea what the teacher had talked about, but his homework assignment was on the board, so he quickly jotted it down and moved on to his next class.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Do you have a cell phone? What do you use it for mostly?

2. Do you see a lot of friends texting during class?

3. Why do you think teachers don’t allow cell phone use in class?

4.  Would you consider it rude if you were Ryan’s teacher and discovered him texting during your class?

5. Do you think that Ryan should text his friends all the time now during class since his teacher didn’t catch him?

6. Do you think his mom might find out about his “non-emergency” cell use? What would she say if she did? What might be the consequences?

7. Why do you think or not think you and/or your friends should have your own cell? Give 5 good reasons to support your argument.


For Mentors


"Teens and Mobile Phones" (Pew Research Center)

"Survey: Teens' Cell Phones Indispensible" (CBS News)

Article originally appeared on Fighting Back Mentor Program Resource Center (http://mentor-center.org/).
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