How young is too young for cellphones in school?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 06:01:54 AM. What has become a more settled matter for high school students is sparking questions and controversy in lower grades.
It's been a long time since mobile phones arrived in the nation's schools, but educators are still grappling with what to do about them. Should they be allowed in elementary schools? What about middle-schoolers using them at lunch? Which limits make the most sense for devices so ubiquitous? , some two decades after portable phones became an inescapable part of the cultural landscape. The debate has emerged in Maryland's biggest school system - in suburban Montgomery County - where some of the rules have been relaxed in recent months. It used to be that students through fifth grade could carry cellphones only with special permission. But over the years, an increasing number of parents wanted their elementary-age children to take phones to school, often believing kids would be safer - walking home or in an emergency - with the device at the ready. As the Maryland district recently moved to do away with the old rule, other parents objected - shocked that children as young as 6 or 7 would be permitted to bring smartphones to school. One father recalled his child's school banning fidget spinners and Pokémon cards. Why allow cellphones? "A phone would be more of a distraction," said Art Bennett, who has three children in school. "Unless there's a demonstrated need, I don't see why there ought to be phones in elementary school at all." The change in district rules, which took effect this fall, also allows middle school students to use cellphones during lunch if principals give the...Read more
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