Last Friday, I went into a classroom for Health. It was my first time in the Middle School since kids that age scare me. I explained to them their lesson. The moment I was done, half the class pulled out their smart-phones. I asked them to put them away, then the kids explained to me that the teacher allows them to look up the answers for their review sheet on their phones. I dug deeper and learned this was in fact true. They were also allowed to listen to music from their i-pods while they worked as well.
You probably don't have to be a genius to know what my day consisted of. I walked around the classroom, and each time I got close to a student to peek over their shoulders to make sure they were not texting, looking at pics, videos, etc, their fingers would quickly move, and I would see an appropriate site.
The thing is, I'm not dumb. I know that just because I never saw what they were actually looking at, I know it was NOT school work. Some kids were definitely texting, as you could see the grins on their faces. You do not grin like that while reading about the dangers of alcohol and tobacco, plus I don't think you needed to type that many letters to do an internet search. Although when I try to call them on it, they would switch their screens and flash me their iPhone screen.
Then there is the less obvious, kids flashing their phone to another, both kids crack up in a secret giggle. If you call them on it, they switch screens and you see words like, "Smoking cigarettes cause all kinds of cancers, not just lung cancer," and they will give you a sly grin as they say, "I was just showing him an answer." You know that they are trying to fool you, yet you are powerless, as a substitute anyway.
Personally I am shocked that smart phones are even allowed on in a school building, let alone allowed to be used for "school related" assignments. It upsets me most because I have a child who attends the school.
There is a reason we have certain rules regarding the Internet and hand-held devices. It scares me that in the public school system she will have full-access to all of the Internet, without parental detections. Yes, I know some of the kids will have parental controls on their phones, but some of them won't! Kids flash screens to other kids, whether it be a dog doing stupid tricks or pornography. The problem is, you cannot unsee what you have seen. 13 and 14-year-olds are too young to be seeing pornography. Personally, I think 32 is too young, but that is my personal stance.
Maybe my reaction is extreme, maybe I'm over-reacting. I don't know, but in our house the Internet does not leave the living room or dining room area. Hand-held devices that connect to the Internet are closely monitored. It's not that we don't trust our daughter, she is a good girl. It's that (A) she is human and subject to human behavior. (B) I have unwillingly had pornography thrust in front of me when I clicked on what appeared to be an innocent site. I don't want that happening to my daughter.
It's not like I want to control all aspects of my daughter's life, but this is one area I do want control. If my daughter wants to jump in our creek in our backyard with her clothes on, as long as she throws the dirty clothes into the washer, I don't care. I don't care if she wants to do something crazy to her hair. I won't pay for it, but I really don't care. I am not a control freak. I just think this is important, or at least to me and my family, it is important. Yet, I feel the public school is making it so I cannot protect my daughter from seeing non-age appropriate things on the Internet, and I feel powerless.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.