Texting is a no-no for students in most schools, according to a brochure published by the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. Even with clear policies prohibiting the use of cell phones during school hours, students often find a way around these rules. If you learn that your teenager sends text messages in class, institute clear consequences for the rule-breaking.
The predominant school policy regarding student cell phone use is to disallow students from using a cell phone at all during school hours, according to the National School Safety and Security Services website. If your teenager’s school has a cell phone ban in effect and an established consequence for breaking the rule, this serves as a natural consequence for your teenager. Part of the school’s stated consequence might include parental involvement. For the school policy and consequence to be effective with a teenager, parental compliance and support is essential.
When your child faces consequences at school for breaking cell phone rules, it’s usually best to allow the school to handle the infraction, advises social worker Carole Banks, with the Empowering Parents website. Unless the behavior involves destruction of property or physical harm to someone, or if your child continues to break the same rule, the school holding your child accountable is the most effective way to correct your child’s misbehavior.
Once your child has a history of breaking a school’s stated cell phone policy, communicate with your teenager about how you will proceed to ensure compliance. Tell your teenager that you will monitor your child’s use going forward to ensure that additional issues do not occur. Communicate a consequence you will institute if your child breaks the texting rule again, such as grounding your child from his cell phone for several days or one week.
Check your cell phone bill monthly to note the times your child is sending text messages, advises Marge Monroe and Doug Fodeman, authors of “Racing to Keep Up.” If you find that your child is continuing to text during class times, follow-through with the promised consequence to discourage your child from texting and breaking rules.
- Center for Parent/Youth Understanding: Teens + Texting
- National School Safety and Security Services: Cell Phones and Text Messaging in Schools
- Benecia High School: Cell Phone Policy
- Empowering Parents: Problems at School? How to Handle the Top 4 Issues
- Racing to Keep Up: Talking With Your Kids About Technology Use and Strategies to Protect the Home Computer; Msw Marje Monroe and Doug Fodeman
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