The editorial supporting Texas City Independent School District's cellphone ban reminds me of Plato's arguments against teaching reading in the Phaedrus ("Texas City ISD made the right call on cellphones, The Daily News, Aug. 21). The ability to memorize long passages will be compromised if people can read.

Teaching students to use multi-purpose smartphones with propriety makes better sense than the Luddite policy of banning tools. I suspect if studies were done back in the day, they would have found an increase in bullying by paper notes that could be folded and hidden more easily than the slate tablets paper replaced.

Yes, banning phones means less video documentation of poor practices, but in the long run, video evidence, such as that which went viral in the Donald Neely arrest, forces us to really see and improve accepted procedures.

When effective teachers ask for devices to be put away students comply. If students use phones at lunch to document a picture together with a birthday cupcake brought for a friend providing a tangible posting to her timeline that she's special at school, we're teaching positive uses of technology in learning communities.

Applications like, “The Virtual Hope Box” provide support and needed distraction for people undergoing mental health treatment with an app subtly accessible on personal devices, proving their worth.

Rodney Dunklee

League City


(4) comments

Carlos Ponce

"Teaching students to use multi-purpose smartphones with propriety makes better sense than the Luddite policy of banning tools." - IF under teacher supervision. I remember when the TI-83, TI-84 and TI-84A graphing calculators first came out. Great tools when used properly and the state required their use (or a similar brand) during the mathematics portion of the TAAS, EOC and STAAR tests. Then students learned to re-program them to play games.

David Smith

Those poor babys.. forced to pay attention in class without their phones on... mean school district

Randy Chapman

"When effective teachers ask for devices to be put away students comply."

Did you really write that and believe it when you wrote it? Now that's funny; I don't care who ya are!

Rodney Dunklee

Randy, Apparently you have not been in a classroom with an engaging teacher who uses active learning or stations with tasks to be completed with effective procedures taught or one who is a master at leading engaging discussions or even read a really good book. Most people don't stop to check their phones when they are totally engaged. I was a crappy teacher when I started, but as I developed my craft engaging and redirecting students became second nature. Too bad the state of Texas is last in the nation in benefits provided to teachers. Their TRS-ActiveCare began in 2002 and the state contribution to teacher healthcare has been flat since then. For a teacher with a family plan they pay $1415 a month while our caring state leaders are kind enough to provide the same $75 dollars they did not 2002. Its no wonder in the 1970's about 20% of kids on college campuses were education majors and it is now down to around 5%. Our kids need great teachers, but we won't be getting as many if we continue this lackluster support of public school teachers.

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