Hallelujah! As of March 2, cellphones will officially be allowed in NYC public schools. As Mayor Bill de Blasio said, it is “very, very important” that parents be able to contact their children at all times. Who could argue with that?
Does anyone blame the mayor for jumping the gun and allowing his son, Dante, to take his cell to Brooklyn Tech, even when it was still against the rules? I mean, how dare any authority set boundaries on a child — or a parent?
Sure, we’ve seen adults get so distracted by cellphone calls or texts that they crash into the car in front of them. But kids know better! When a teacher says it’s time to put away those cells and pay attention, can you imagine a child or teen disobeying that order?
Yes, we’ve heard from those worrywarts who think kids in schools may now use their cellphones to cheat. Or keep their eyes downward instead of on the lesson. Or go on Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Twitter. Or fashion sites. Or sports sites. Or porn sites. Or take selfies.
Other party poopers are concerned that students might use them to call or text friends in other classrooms. Or their own classrooms. Or play games. Or harass their teacher. Or set up brawls. Or steal them from other students. Or what will happen when a teacher requests that a 6-foot, 200-pound goof-off stop yakking loudly on his cell and pay attention. We all know the answer — he will immediately turn it off and apologize.
The mandate seems clear: Cells in school may be used only in emergencies, or for viewing educational websites and videos, and other high-minded activities. But does that placate the nervous nellies? Au contraire.
“This increases the potential for incidents,” a high school principal who requested anonymity insisted to The New York Times. But what is he worried about? His school already has metal detectors to screen for weapons, and now the school will have one less thing to be concerned with. No?
Meanwhile, most students and many parents eagerly count down the days until the cellphone ban is officially lifted.
Teachers? Not so much.
Gee, I wonder why.