Cellphones finding favor in some Mich. classrooms

Some West Michigan school districts are reconsidering cellphone bans, as teachers tire of fighting students about their use and find that the devices can enhance learning.
AP Wire
Sep 18, 2012


The schools are changing policies or at least looking at changes in dealing with what once was seen as a disruption that now could boost instruction. Some teachers have encouraged students to use their phones for online research and assignments.

"We can spend all day chasing them down, telling (students) to put their phones away, or we can teach them," Mona Shores Public Schools Superintendent Dave Peden said. "We prefer to teach them."

Holton Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kennedy said that by allowing students to carry phones into class, schools have the opportunity to teach responsible use while reducing discipline. The district recently updated its policy to allow electronic mobile devices to be used in classrooms if teachers agree.

"Technology, whether we're talking about cellphones or any other technology, is a societal norm," Kennedy said. "I think we have a responsibility to teach the societal norm part of it."

Ravenna Public Schools currently allows use of phones before school and during lunch, but students can bring them to class if teachers request them. Superintendent John VanLoon said the policy is being enforced on an "individual basis."

"We need to update our policy," he said. "It's a little antiquated."



Moderators have removed this comment because it contained profanity. Discussion Guidelines


This post was removed because of one swear word? Dont you guy's have an "edit" button vs the "delete" button?


Orwellian editors...Big Brother is watching and will delete your comments.


It's disrespectful and just plain arrogant when people won't put their phones down to deal with the subject at hand whether it's school, checking out at a grocery store, or walking around at an event. Respect for the teacher, the cashier, and public is the problem. Today's world is all about me!


I agree with truthhurts. The administrators are caving into pressure from the students. Where is their spine??!! Why not just let the students have all the control and let them run the school on their own?? (jeeze) Also, there are plenty of work places that ban the use of cell phones during work hours. These kids better get used to the fact that they can't be joined at the hip to their phones 24-7!


I have to concur with the posters so far including TruthHurts who said nothing all that profane from what I read earlier. Why oh why do those in charge seem to feel that the first/best solution is to always lower the bar rather than to challenge the status quo? Caving in to what's currently cool and popular isn't the best long term solution for the problems in our educational system. There is no reason or is there a necessity for allowing cellphones in the classroom. Don't most schools these days already have computers available in the classroom for research purposes? This VanLoon administrator (how aptly named!) thinks their policy is "a bit antiquated"? How does Mr VanLoon feel about using the library for research? Is that too antiquated for him also? Do schools even teach students how to use a library these days? Is he not happy with the fact we're running about 25th in the world for educational systems? More decision making like this in the name of progress is likely to find the U.S. in 50th place by the end of the decade. All the new age innovations in education put forth in recent years seem to have done nothing to keep U.S. students from falling further and further out of the world's top ten. I could go on and on as this topic really irritates me, but I'll stop as I don't want to say something that might be miscontrued as profane. I simply find all the excuses used in the above article to allow cellphones in the classroom both lame and devoid of accountibility on the educator level and I'll bet that Mr. Vanloon would think I'm "a bit antiquated" too!


Oh please. Remove a cellphone ban in classrooms? You have got to be kidding me. They are about braindead as it is. Now you want to patronize these dimwits who can't part with their stupid cellphones? They all suffer from overconnectedness as it is. It's a wonder if they are learning anything with these toys of technology. I say keep the ban in force. We are becoming a race of unemotional robots. Don't get me wrong here. I own a cell phone but I use it sensibly and I have common sense and courtesy when I use it. The BIG word is courtesy. I think courtesy went right out the window. I mean don't you know now it's cool to be discourteous and rude. A new fad don't you know. I never thought I'd live to see the day that people would become so self-important. I don't text and drive on my cell phone and I would like to see a complete ban of that and heavy fines and jail time if caught texting or talking on cell phones while driving. I did an observation this past Sunday while taking a break on a bicycle ride. I counted 10 cars that passed me. And 9 out of the 10 drivers I observed were talking on their cell phones. We have become a society that suffers from the incurable disease called overconnectedness. Very sad.


Just what we need...Muskegon schools getting more disfunctional with laziness! Their ratings are low enough! Seriously! The teachers find it too hard to fight with the students to keep their cell phones off??? My son's 1st grade teacher has a "June" box. If they bring something into the classroom that is innapropriate, distracting, or being used in the wrong way (ruler fights) it is confiscated and kept until June when school is out. Have the parents and students sign a form in the beginning of the year stating that they understand if a cell phone is left on during class and it distracts, a reminder will first be given, then the cell phone will be confiscated until June if there is a second offense. Jeez, people are getting lazy! Parents and students need to be held accountable for their actions. Cell phones do not belong in the classroom where learning is taking place. If there is a certain program that can be utilized in learning, put it on a computer screen and project it where everyone in the class can view it. What happens if a few kids don't have a cell phone, or the ability to access the same programs they describe as "enhancing learning" when used? Then we are allowing cell phone use to the kids who have one, also making it possible for the kids without one to go home and say they need it for school...it all makes no sense. Parents- step in and tell your kids that the cell phone stays off until after school or during lunch break. If they disobey, take their cell phones away. Don't expect the teachers to chase your kids around trying to get them to obey the rules of the school. And, don't be surprised if the school has to enforce the rules by taking the cell phone from your irresponsible child who is disrespecting the rules. They obviously are not grown enough to handle the responsibility of owning a cell phone and respecting others by not allowing it to distract from their learning.


I agree with what you are all saying. I think that the sch............"oh, wait - I need to grab this call. I'll be right back."

Cheryl Welch

Our online commenting policy prohibits us from editing comments to edit out swear words or anything else deemed inappropriate. If the commenter cannot refrain from such language, or the commenter violates our policies, the commenter's entire post will be removed. If a commenter continually violates our policies - such as repeated personal attacks, repeated racist/profane language, or libelous information - we will block the commenter. We appreciate comments from readers, but we reserve the right to remove comments that do not add to the dialogue on this forum. Thank you.


Well, it's your ball and your bat so I guess that means you get to make the rules. Wouldn't it be a little less heavy-handed though to wait and see if one of your readers complains about the post in question before wiping it out of existence? I realize there needs to be bounderies to keep things civil, but when you set yourself up as judge and jury your selling your readership short. Just my opinion of course, take it for what it's worth....

Say No To Tourist's

This post was made with my HTC EVO 4G using my fingers......................................


Haha, this is Muskegon, how could you expect more?


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