It can be surprising to look back onto previous years and think that once upon a time cellphones were strictly prohibited, limited solely to our lockers. Now however, it is hard not to see cellphones resting casually on the desks of students as the day carries on.
Since RHS is a “Bring your Own Device School,” it is no surprise to see that after the additions of Promethean boards and Chromebooks, many teachers have turned to smart phones to find new and creative ways to learn. Some of these resources include Kahoot, foreign language dictionaries and QR codes.While some teachers may say that they have become an integral part of teaching, others may argue that they are too distracting for their own good.
Let me start off by stating that not everyone is obsessed with their cellphone, which seems to be the main pretense of English teacher Aaron Taylor’s opinion. Admittedly, I have used my cellphone in class, like many others, but that fact simply does not condemn me to a “seemingly-serious emotional attachment.” Ask anyone who really knows me and they will say that my Snapchat streaks have no effect on me; forget about keeping up with Twitter, because that is whole other story.
The point that has been called to our attention is, according to Taylor, “using your cellphone in class makes you immoral.”
There is no doubt about it: Unsolicited cellphone use during class is just plain disrespectful, and 100 percent of teachers surveyed by the Rampage would agree. How would you feel? Honestly, I would hate to stand up in front of a class, attempting to teach students who would rather be anywhere else.
However, the judgment that all students lack morals for using their cellphones shows just how personal morals are. Think about it. Surely almost everyone would agree that their standards of morality are completely different than those of a serial killer, which proves that obviously not everyone follows a specific school of thought on ethics to the exact same degree.
With that said, everyone has the right and responsibility to develop their own morals.The use of cellphones during class is a privilege and should be treated as such. Teachers need to enforce the rules as they see fit and students should be responsible enough to know when it is an appropriate time to use them.
However, being disrespectful does not equate to being immoral. Morals are not based on facts, but opinions. In Taylor’s personal opinion, cellphone use during class is immoral. However, the opinion of 70 percent of RHS staff and myself is that it is not.
Another idea is how the duration of cellphone use matters. Using a cellphone for a minute to check a text is different than being entranced for 45 minutes. Therefore, it is wrong to declare that being distracted for a couple of minutes, “could have untold negative consequences on your future.” The fact of the matter is that students who are dazing off in every other class will find a way to waste time whether it is on a cellphone or just blatantly not paying attention.
When going into utilitarian ethics, Taylor attempts to prove his argument through fulfilling versus empty pleasures. Unfortunately, this argument lacks the basic need for a distinction between the two. Creating happiness is different for everyone. Understanding the melodies used by musicians could provide the same effect that understanding Hamlet may have for an English teacher, both of which have the potential to inspire greatness within an individual.
It all goes to show that each person has to be equally accountable to themselves for their actions. Thoughts are personal and always have been. Attempting to generalize and scorn others because they do not follow your mindset is futile.
It is up to each person to decide what they choose to believe. If you want to talk about what is fundamentally and ethically wrong, saying that someone is “unworthy of a human being,” for any reason whatsoever, is just that.