As more tragic deaths from the latest school shootings hit the headlines, we learn that the victims received a text message from the shooter before the incident occurred. Inviting his friends to meet him at lunch, Jaylen Fryberg approached the lunch table armed and shooting. While this incident tends to create a lot of discussion about gun control and gun laws, what about the role of smart phones that young students seem to have at their fingertips for every waking moment? Is this an issue that also needs to be further debated? Some parents like Laurene Powell Jobs certainly think so.
Many parents send their children off to school with telephones thinking that it will help keep them safe should they ever need to call them. And every time a major incident happens at a school, we hear stories of students hunkering down and calling 911 or their families. What about the rest of the time? We all know that those phones are not being used only for emergencies. Should students have access to this technology during their every waking moment?
In the current age of social media and the internet, students are always “connected” online in one way or another. We frequently hear stories about students being taunted to their death by pictures and stories that have been put on the internet about them.
If we decide that arming students with smartphones is the way to go, maybe we should consider asking technology companies to change how we monitor their usage.