The cellphone dilemma

Dallas High School has requested making classrooms “cellphone free” zones, meaning students would lock their devices away during class times.

Officials at the high school say cellphones are a distraction — too much of a distraction — and interfere with learning and teaching.

We all know how cellphones have changed our lives, from asking Siri to tell us how to get somewhere to finding out what the best Chinese restaurant is in town. We text, chat, take photos — some of us rarely use them as phones at all. They are mini computers, sometimes more powerful than the desktop we have at home (do you even have a desktop computer or land line anymore?).

Distractions at school are nothing new, they’ve simply taken on a new, electronic format.

LaCreole Middle School is blazing the way with the best way to handle cellphones. It’s a bring-your-own-technology approach that teaches students how to use those mini-computers to supplement education — as well as how to be good citizens of cellphone use.

It’s not all Pollyanna. Kids will be kids. But when teachers are showing them — and setting the example — how to be good digital citizens, it backs up what they learn at home about how to be responsible with cellphones.

Learning these behaviors and then being told in high school that they can’t handle the responsibility — though that isn’t what is said, it could be inferred by taking away access — is confusing at best. We think the school board should rethink this policy before passing it and come up with a better solution.

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