Do you think students should be able to have cell phones in their classrooms?
PORTLAND -- With kids back in school, it may be tough to get them to stop texting on their cell phones.
At most area schools, teachers set the rules for cell phones in class. They said teenage girls text more often than boys.
"I ask my students to keep them [cell phones] in their backpacks unless we're using it for research but teachers have varying policies on that," explained Elisabeth Sturman at Wy’east Middle School.
Teachers said it’s easy to tell when a students’ cell phone use is not being used for the right reasons, because it’s generally in child’s lap instead of on their desk.
"I'm pretty good about saying, ‘Are you texting under the table there?’ I have to say that and eight times out of ten, they say ‘it's my mom’ and I ask ‘why is your mom texting you?’ and they tell me, ‘well, I have a doctor's appointment,’" said Geoff Hunnicutt, a teacher at Beaverton’s ACMA.
Instead of texting during the school day, teachers ask that parents instead call the office and have a message delivered or at least consider their child’s class schedule.
"I don’t want him to get a text after school so I can send him something during lunchtime. And I suspect he checks his messages during lunchtime," said ACMA mom Cari Cooper.
For students who get caught doing inappropriate texting during class, the punishment seems universal.
"Their cell phones are precious to them so it works to my advantage. If they're not using them appropriately, it's going to be taken away from them," remarked Hawthorn.
When a phone gets confiscated, teachers said it helps for parents to back them up in the punishment.
Teachers believe parents can also help deliver another important message about when to text and when to call.
"Please tell your children to call people and have a conversation on the phone. That's the biggest concern I have is that students are having a lot of screen time but not one-on-one personal conversations," concluded Wy’east Middle School teacher Jennifer Bass.