Student desires leniency with cell phones in classrooms

Commentary Opinion

The right to have cell phones out during class is an ongoing debate. Here’s how I feel about it: We the students make the choice of paying attention in class or not. Students pay to be in their classes and their professor will get paid whether they text or not. The student is the one who could suffer from their decision in the end but that’s their consequence for paying more attention to their phone than their professors.

Obviously you shouldn’t be calling your friends to discuss the night’s plans in the middle of your professor’s lecture or play music and videos on your phone disrupting the entire class. However, you can text and not be disruptive to the classroom. I’m not saying it’s right for someone to be on their phone the entire class. But, if your phone is on silent and your texting quietly on occasion throughout class, or simply checking the time, then what is the real issue? Some teachers have gone as far as walking out of their classrooms or even dropping you from their class if they catch you texting.

I do think there are certain times when there should absolutely be no cell phones allowed out; like on the day of a test. But on a daily basis when there is only lecturing going on, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to me. I can think of several things that are more disrespectful and disruptive to the professor and the rest of the students in the classroom. For example people chomping their gum, clicking their pens, and here’s a big one: listening to their iPod’s in class. Texting seems like such a big deal but I think someone who has an ear bud in one ear with the volume on their iPod high enough that it can be heard by the person 5 seats away seems more disruptive.

If your professor has a problem with you texting in class, listen to them and put your phone away. If you really need to check your phone then simply walk into the hallway for a moment. As of right now this is still just a debate and you should respect your professor’s wishes. Yet until a professor makes it clear that they feel texting is extremely destructive, then I say text away. Obviously the conversation is worth the words missed during lecture.