So my high school son had a few friends over last summer to watch movies and one of them is texting right at the beginning of the film, and I think, okay, he’s probably just making plans for the next day, but then he texts again and again and again and for the next 2 plus hours of the movie I am listening to click click click click click, etc. and I think I am going to lose my mind and all my son’s friends were teasing and hinting that this kids should stop, but he did not and it did not change the situation.
And I thought, we need to teach kids cell phone/texting etiquette.
My advice: Be where you are at the moment not where you wish you were. Not where you might be tomorrow. Not where you were yesterday.
I know I cannot ban cell phone use in homes. We can hint and tease, but we cannot ban. But at schools they can and it recently made the news at Clackamas High School in Clackamas Oregon.
That’s right, Clackamas High School banned cell phone use. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/andy_parker/index.ssf/2009/10/high_school_life_with_no_cell.html
And not just cell phone use, but texting and even just visibility of any mobile device. If a teacher or administrator even sees a cell phone they take it away.
And the only way to get the phone back is to have mom or dad pick it up.
Have to call home? Use the land line in the office. Yes, the dinosaur connected by a wire to the wall-
Talk about the dark ages.
But what it has done at Clackamas High and other schools who have similar bans is make kids talk to one another, face to face. Wow, now that’s the dark ages.
The cell phone ban at Clackamas High is one of the changes that new school principal Matt Utterback made this year. He got the idea last year during a trip to Chicago to visit high schools that are spread over more than one campus, which will be the predicament that Clackamas High will encounter next year.
The Clackamas High principal noticed that in the Chicago schools students were actually talking. And reading. It was a totally different culture. Sans electronic devices. Yup, no cell phones, no iPods, no headsets allowed in the Chicago schools that Matt Utterback and others from Clackamas visited.
It is interesting to see how cell phone use by kids has gotten to a younger and younger generation. Before it was high schoolers mostly but now you see middle schoolers and younger holding up their electronic devices.
It used to be for emergencies. For survival. To phone mom for a ride home after sports. Now, it’s to text to see what is new. And what kids are missing while watching a movie.
I applaud Clackamas High and wish that other high schools would follow suit.
It might get kids talking. The old fashioned way. Face to face.