According to News Center Maine, a new cell phone bill would restrict Maine students from using their cell phones at school. Many Maine schools already have restrictions, enforcing them is a challenge.

The new law would put an end to using phones during class, in the halls between classes and at lunch. Emergency? Use the school's office phone, just like in the olden days.

Schools can make their own policies, but they have to be at least as strict as the Education Department's guidelines.

Just when I thought I had made up my mind about my kids using their phones at school, I came across this article at Bates.edu that made some great points about the benefits of students having access to their phones at school.

Anita Charles, a lecturer in education at Bates College, has been observing and writing about the place student's phones have at school . Here are some things that Charles learned:

  • Students and teachers both found work-arounds to phone restrictions. Relationships between students and teachers were built through respect regarding phone use. Some teachers will allow students to enter homework assignments or call a parent.
  • Situational compromise stemming from conversation seems to work really well. Some kids with differences or disabilities connect easier to school through their phones. Class related use should be considered.
  • Situations regarding cell phone can be about trust and maturity and not just the phone itself. What is reasonable and fair can be discussed with students to establish expectations and the reasons for limits.

I'm glad that I looked at both sides of the issue.