Cell-block: A parent’s job – m.NYPOST.com

Two New York Post readers wrote letter in reply to my OpEd, “End the cellphone ban.” Both readers wrote that parents are responsible for how their children use their cellphones and must teach them responsible cellphone etiquette.

One reader, Ilene Heller, a former school nurse, wrote “teaching kids to act responsibly is primarily the job of parents, not school personnel.” She apparently forgot that as outdated though it seems schools must still teach civics and impart knowledge of social values and functioning in American society.

We all have a stake in the types of well-rounded young people our public schools graduate.

What do you think? Do you agree with the two letter writers? Have your say below.


Cell-block: A parent’s job Last Updated: 10:48 PM, July 3, 2012 The Issue: Whether students should be permitted to have and/or use cellphones in school.


Cellphones ring at the movies, in church and at the theater, yet Michael Benjamin thinks that a “clear, written policy that simply requires phones to be turned off in class” will work with teenagers (“End the Cell Phone Ban,” PostOpinion, June 28).

Yes, the ban should be lifted, as it’s a lost battle. But it’s become the schools’ problem, when parents could solve the problem immediately.

Cellphone providers have varying degrees of “usage controls.” Parents can decide who their children can text and when. Shut down your child’s texting capabilities to their friends between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Focus increases once the distraction and temptation of the cellphone is eliminated.

But I guess this approach demands personal responsibility, which is not very popular these days.

Jessy Friedman

Marlboro, NJ

Allowing students to have cellphones in school can be a blessing or a curse.

Nowadays, students often don’t memorize emergency-contact numbers, and parents don’t provide updated numbers to school staff in a timely manner.

In this scenario, as a school nurse, I allow students to give me that information from their phones if I need to speak with a parent immediately.

On the other hand, I used to work at a school where cellphones were used to orchestrate fights and, eventually, a full-scale riot.

Moreover, it’s very disheartening to see children moronically staring at those little screens and texting —totally oblivious to whatever else is going on around them.

This goes on in classrooms, even in the best schools, and the behavior is contagious and disruptive.

Contrary to what Benjamin apparently believes, teaching kids to act responsibly is primarily the job of parents, not school personnel.

A teacher’s main job is to impart knowledge and skills, not provide crowd control for those addicted to electronic devices.Ilene Heller


About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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