Cell Phone Radiation: The REAL Issue and How to Reduce Radiation Levels Coming From Your Cell Phone

Recently, the WHO, the World Health Organization came out with a statement that Cell Phones may be hazardous to your health. They made this conclusion after they had a conference in which world scientists, doctors etc., examined the data from one study done in Sweden and concluded that despite all of the other years where they could not make a determination, this year they could.

Was this politically motivated, where the WHO, the organization that created the scare of h1n1 virus, SARs, and Mad Cow, actually needed some more limelight to become relevant or is this real possibility, that is, Cell Phones used for long periods of time can cause tumors in the brain?

In looking at the study, several key facts come out of it. Some of them are based on their assumptions and some as well that are based on logic.

Where is that danged antenna located?

A short time ago, cell phones had a small telescopic antenna that you could raise or lower. This migrated to small stub fixed antennas located at the top of your cell phone, and then off to what is now used predominantly which is a “Patch” antenna, a small wafer about 1″ x 1/2 ” in size placed behind the back cover of your phone ( not the batter cover). These patch antennas work almost as well as the telescopic ones, but inherently are not as efficient. This means that “Not all cell phones are created equal“. That is to say different cell phones produce different power levels.

More importantly there are cell phone that have their antenna located behind the ear piece of the cell phone, and others that are located behind the microphone, or mouth piece. There was no distinction made between these two cases. There should be. Close proximity to the area behind the ear and above, energy transmitted by the cell phone has a higher intensity than that transmitted by the antenna behind the mouth piece. For the signal to travel into the brain area, the signal must pass through the jawbone, the moisture of the mouth, and on to the brain. The energy of the cell phone at 5″ from the antenna we can be measured with the spectrum analyzers we have and it was 10 dB or ten times less than that of the energy directly at the ear.

iPhones for example have the antenna located surrounding the cell phone from the right side over the top to the left side. The energy is distributed among a path of approximately 6″. No study was done to determine whether the distribution of the energy over the 6″ was different than coming from a patch antenna 1″ x ” in size. Blackberry and most Androids have the antenna located in the bottom of the phone at the back. Again, the signal would have to travel through the phone and then through the jawbone. Similar with Motorola razors, the flip phones where the antenna is located near the mouth piece.

Certainly not all cell phones are created equal.

Cell Phone Output Power Levels

What was the energy level of the cell phone to start off with? That is an important point. If this was a European study, a cell phone can put out a maximum power of 2 watts. Here in the United States, in order to conserve energy, and “talk time” cell phones are designed to operate at lower levels, close to 1 mill watt in most cases. US cell phones have a maximum energy level of of a watt… 25% that of the European maximums. This was not taken into consideration.

What Standard Protocol did they test?

CDMA GSM or iDen? The three standards used in the United States, are infinitely different. CDMA phones normally operate at even lower powers levels than their GSM counterparts. The equipment of the CDMA in the USA is the UMTS in Europe or WCDMA. GSM operates channelized m and CDMA is spread over a greater area. Iden phones, famous for push to talk operate at much higher levels than the other two systems, because their towers are father apart forcing the phone to operate at higher levels. Up to 2 watts in some cases!

Other considerations.

Did they take into consideration other factors, like total amount of metal in the particular cell iPhone versus plastic? Several Nokia, Samsung and Sanyo phones have very little metal, but put out the same power as the Motorola counterparts. This is all very important in looking at the study.

Using Headsets versus the phone up against you ear.

Most news organizations are coming out indicting that the use of a Bluetooth headset is advisable compared to directly putting your cell phone up against your ear. They have no basis for this discussion. No test has ever been done on the effects of Bluetooth headsets on brain cancer!

Here is what they are not telling you: Bluetooth headsets operate a frequency of 2.4-2.5 GHz. Your microwave oven operates at a similar frequency. The headset puts out 2.5 mill watts of power, at a distance closer to your brain than the cell phone! Earpieces are inserted into the ear canal making them closer! The 2.5 mill watts of power is 2.5 times higher than the energy form the cell phone at normal conditions. How anyone can recommend going from a cell phone to a Bluetooth headset is beyond my understanding…unless of course you sell Bluetooth headsets.


The bars on the cell phone can be a good indicator of whether or not your phone is operating at full output power or at the levels that I describe, which are at 1 milliwatt…minimal power. First, the higher the energy that you receive from the tower, the closer the tower is to you and the less energy the cell phone has to put out to reach the tower. More bars on your phone = lower transmission levels of your phone. The power level of your phone transmitting to the tower is inversely proportional to the received signal from the tower. Da Bars! Can you trust the bars on your phone? 5 Bars is FULL? Only with some phones. Motorola we have always found to be truthful with their display of the bars. 3 bars means -75 dBm of downlink signal, and full bars, usually means -60 dB. Each bar on the Motorola phone represents 10 -20 times energy difference. Now, with Samsung, LG etc., they like to ‘juice’ those bars up. That means that 5 bars on their phone could still mean a lower signal coming form the tower and a high signal generated from your phone. In fact the carriers like giving those people that complain about signal levels on their phones the juiced up models…that way they can full you into thinking you got better signal! If you have 1 or two bars, you can be certain that your cell phone has to power up to full, most of the time. You also notice that the cell phones battery runs out quicker… because it is transmitting at full power!

So what can be done about lowering the energy level of the cell phone so that I minimize the risks, if any, associated with electromagnetic radiation exposure? What you need to do is get better downlink signals from the tower so that your phone does not have to power up as high. There are several ways to do this

1. Use an External Antenna

In some phones, there is a ” small plug located at the back either top or bottom…Behind this plug is a jack that connects directly to the antenna output of the cell phone. With an adapter connected to a cable plugged into this port, you can add an external antenna that can be placed at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from you. A few things happen as a result. The amount of energy you get from the external antenna at 3 feet is 1000 times less than that of the antenna of the cell phone when placed against you rear. As well, since this antenna is more efficient than the small one at the back of your cell phone, the phone is more efficient in transmitting and receiving the signal and therefore powers down to the lowest levels. In some cases this amounts to 10000 times less energy needed, increased talk time, and better reception of course no dropped calls. The Antenna can be stuck to the car window (we have suction cop antennas) to your window at your house as well. OR you can simply hold it at a distance or place it beside you. With the Magnetic mount antennas., placing it outside the car or home results in a doubling of the signal levels of the towers, and halving of the transmission energy of the cell phone.

2. Install a docking station.

We have two products on our side, one made by Dock N talk, and the other is Siemens Gigaset. These two products connect to your cell phone either wirelessly or via a cable to the data port. By placing the docking station near a window, say in your kitchen and attaching the cell phone to it, your signal level of the cell phone will be higher. More importantly, the cell phone when transmitting will be nowhere near you. That is because these two products connect the cell phone directly to the landline phone sin your home. When someone calls your cell number, the house phone rings. You pick it up, (even has caller ID) and you answer just like you would if the phone is up against your ear. AS well, you can dial out. The cell phone does not have to be next to you! It can be anywhere else in the house. The added benefit of course is that you can get rid of your landline entirely and use the cell phone only.

3. Adding a repeater system.

If you have at least 3 bars outside your home and 1-2 bars inside, you are a perfect candidate for Cell phone booster or Repeater. The reason the signal level is lower in your house than outside is because building materials absorb and reflect radio frequency signals. Our repeater system simply put bridges this resistance, and takes the signal from outside, amplifies it and transmits it inside. Similarly the signal from your phone gets amplified and sent to the tower. You install an antenna outdoors, run the cable inside to the amplifier and install a small indoor antenna. Turn it on and presto! 1 bar becomes 5, and as I said, the more bars you see on your phone the less signal is being transmitted.

Some may ask, but what about the energy coming from the repeater? Isn’t that a worry? Fact is because our antenna outside sees the tower… the amount of energy that is being picked up and amplifier is about the same as the output power of the cell phone. The difference is that the antenna of the repeater is located three or more feet from where you are. That means the signal level from the repeater is 1000 times or more less than that of your cell phone at your ear! No worries here! We have repeaters for small homes, offices, warehouse and even hospitals and hotels. The added benefit of course is not only do you reduce the radiation level of the cell phones, you increase talk time, get less dropped calls, and you are able to use your phone in more places than before.

4. How about the RAD sticker?

There are many products on the market that tell you that they will reduce the energy of the cell phone. Stickers placed at the back of your phone for instance are nothing more than a sham. Any metal placed near the antenna of a cell phone causes the cell phone to get less signal from the tower…and if you have been reading….forces your phone to power up at higher levels!

5. More Text Messaging less Phone Use.

Use text messaging more often. I always wonder in this world of progress, how we ended up back with text messaging. IF you are older, and remember the days of the pager, you would dial a phone number for a pager, and a signal would be sent, the pager would beep and the person would call his answering service. That migrated to being able to send the phone number to the pager of the party that wanted to be called, to being able to answer back to another pager by a small keyboard on the pager that you received it or sending a message. This migrated to being able to call someone using a cell phone rather than paging them. This migrated to paging them on a cell phone, then finally text messaging them instead of calling them. How the hell did we do a full 360 degree circle with technology that was supposed to move us forward?

Having said that, the best you can do, is use the technology sparingly. There is no reason to talk on a cell phone if you have a landline near you. AS well, you could do the good old fashion way of waiting until you get home to call your friend. What is so urgent? If the WHO is right, and maybe they are wrong, or maybe next year they will look at the facts, be pressured by the CTIA (organization that represents the carriers) and have their ruling about cell phones overturned. Perhaps even better….they will read my article, ask the people performing the study to study more… and maybe 50 years from now, we will get a different answer…. Cell Phones are healthy! They reduce your stress levels. Less stress = better health. Higher tower signals = lower cell phone transmission power = better health.

If you have any concern whatsoever regarding the use of the cell phone, you can abstain from using it of course. However, any and all of the solutions described above will certainly decrease the energy levels, reduce the risk of cancer if any, and provide you with decent coverage and less dropped calls.

Are Cell Phones Causing Cancer?

In 1993, a man filed a lawsuit against the cell phone industry, claiming that his wife died from a brain tumor caused by her repeated use of the cell phone. The tumor was on the same side of the head where she held her cell phone and was shaped like the cell phone antenna. The case got widespread media attention and was featured in CNN’s Larry King show.

Although the claim was dismissed by the court due to lack of sufficient evidence, it was a public relations nightmare for the wireless industry. It also marked the beginning of the global search for a definitive answer to the question: are cell phones safe or not? Does it cause cancer and other degenerative diseases? Brain cancer is up 25% since cell phones became popular. Every year, there are 183,000 more cases in the US alone. Some health experts say there’s a link with cell phone use, but is there proof?

In an effort to diffuse the negative publicity from the high-profile lawsuit, the cell phone industry itself funded a $25 million dollar research program to prove that cell phones are safe. After 6 years of intensive research, however, the results were not what they were looking for. Dr. George Carlo, the chief research scientist of the program, found evidence that cell phones pose some health risks, possibly even cancer.

The first evidence of cancer link that shook the cell phone industry came in 1997. Dr. Michael Repacholi and his colleagues from the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia reported that long-term exposure to the type of radiation that comes from digital cell phones caused an increase in the occurrence of lymphoma in mice. The study received widespread international media attention because it was the first time that cancer has been linked to the cell phone in a well-conducted study.

In order to show a link between cell phone radiation and cancer, let’s look at several studies Dr. Carlo investigated that made him blow the whistle, so to speak. These red-flag findings provide the pieces that fit together to form the cancer picture:

– DNA Damage in Human Blood Studies
– Breakdown in the Blood-Brain Barrier
– Studies of Tumors in People Who Use Cell Phones
– Studies of Cell Phone Radiation Dosage and Response

All tumors and all cancers are the result of genetic damage. Most often that damage includes the formation of micronuclei–fragments of chromosomes that form membranes around themselves and appear under a microscope as additional nuclei in blood cells (which normally have just a single nucleus). The relationship between micronuclei and cancer is so strong that doctors around the world test for their presence to identify patients likely to develop cancer. The presence of micronuclei indicates that the cells can no longer properly repair broken DNA. This deficiency is considered to be an indication of an increased risk of developing cancer.

– In December 1998, Drs. Ray Tice and Graham Hook of Integrated Laboratory Systems in North Carolina have shown that blood cells exposed to cell phone radiation suffer genetic damage in the form of micronuclei. In their studies, DNA and chromosome damage in human white blood cells occurred when exposed to signals from all types of phones–analog, digital, and PCS. Damage was shown even from signals occurring at a SAR level below the government’s “safety” guideline.

– Using different methods, the above finding was confirmed by Dr. Joseph Roti Roti of Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. His research showed that human blood cells exposed to radiation at wireless phone frequencies did indeed develop genetic damage, in the form of micronuclei. This finding received a lot of notice because Dr. Roti Roti is a prominent scientist who does hiw work under funding by Motorola Inc.

This has a very serious implication. If cell phone radiation encourages the formation of micronuclei in blood cells, and micronuclei are said to be “biological markers” for cancer, then based on these studies alone cell phone use could be said to increase the risk of cancer

The blood brain barrier is a special filter in the blood vessels of the brain that keeps dangerous chemicals from reaching sensitive brain tissue and causing DNA breaks and other damage.

– In 1994 and again, in 2002, Dr. Leif Salford from Lund University in Stockholm, Sweden found in his studies that rats exposed to cell phone radiation showed a breakdown in the blood brain barrier, as well as areas of shrunken, damaged neurons.

The micronuclei studies of Tice, Hook and Roti Roti and the blood-brain findings of Salford provide a two-step explanation for how cancer could be caused by cell phone radiation.

Step One: A leakage or breakdown in the blood brain barrier would provide a pathway for cancer-causing chemicals in the bloodstream (from tobacco, pesticides, air pollution, etc.) to leak into the brain and damage sensitive brain tissue that would otherwise be protected. These chemicals could break the DNA in the brain or cause other harm to reach those cells.

Step Two: While a number of studies showed that cell phone radiation by itself does not appear to break DNA, the micronuclei findings suggest that they do impair the DNA repair mechanisms in brain cells. Micronuclei result from a breakdown of the cell’s ability to repair itself. If the brain cells become unable to repair themselves, then carcinogenesis–the creation of tumors–induced by chemical toxins could begin.

DNA carries the genetic material of an organism and its different cells. Any damage that goes unrepaired affects the future generation of cells. The change has procreated and this mutation is seen as a possible cause of cancer.

Epidemiological studies, performed by different investigators using different methods, show some evidence of an increased risk of tumors among people who use cellular phones.

– In 1998, Dr. Ken Rothman of Eidemiology Resources, Inc. in Newton, Mass., did a study showing that users of handheld cell phones have more than twice the risk of dying from brain cancer than do car phone users–whose antennas are mounted on the body of the car, far removed from the users’ heads.

– In 1998, Joshua Muscat, a research scientist from the American Health Foundation, showed in his study a doubling of the risk of developing neuro-epithelial tumors on the outside of the brain among cell phone users, particularly on the side of the skull where cell phone antennas are held during calls.

– Muscat also showed in another study that people who have used cell phones for six years or more have a 50-percent increase in risk of developing acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor of the nerve that controls hearing and extends from the ear to the brain. Acoustic neuromas can cause hearing loss and can be life-threatening if untreated.

This was confirmed in a separate study in Stockholm, Sweden by Anders Ahlbom in 2004 and sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), which finds that people who have used cell phones, this time for at least 10 years, may have an increased risk of developing acoustic neuroma.

– In a study also requested by WHO, researchers headed by Dr. Lennart Hardell of the Orebro Medical Center in Sweden examined 1,617 patients aged between 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour between 1997 and 2000. They were then compared to healthy people. Those who used cell phones for less than 10 years faced a 20% higher risk of developing brain cancer. But for those who used them for more than a decade the risk was 80% higher. The study also found that tumours were 2.5 times more likely to be on the same side of the head as the phone was held. The cancer of the auditory nerve, acoustic neuroma, showed a larger increase–3.5 times greater risk.

All studies mentioned showed that an increase in cell phone radiation exposure also increases the likelihood of the adverse effect occurring.

In Repacholi’s study of mice, the risk of lymphoma increased significantly the longer the mice were exposed to the radio waves.

In the research work done by Tice, Hook, and Roti Roti, the risks of genetic damage as measured by micronuclei formation increased as the amount of radiation increased.

In the three epidemoiological studies–two by Muscat and one by Hardell–the risk of tumors was greater in the areas of the brain near where the cell phone was held.

In Salford’s study, the higher the radiation exposure level the rats were exposed to, the more damage was apparent in the blood vessels in the brain and the neurons.

The test tube studies by Tice and Hook; the mouse study by Repacholoi and Selford; and the epidemiological studies by Rothman, Muscat, and Hardell all agree in that they suggest an increased risk of cancer among cell phone users. They fit together to form the beginnings of a picture that everyone can see. They perhaps don’t form the complete picture yet, but there are enough already in place to see that there is cause fo genuine public health concern about cell phone safety.

According to Dr. Carlo, “The big picture is disturbingly clear. There is a definite risk that the radiation plume that emanates from a cell phone antenna can cause cancer and other health problems. It is a risk that affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. It is a risk that must be seen and understood by all who use cell phones so they can take all the appropriate and available steps to protect themselves–and especially to protect young children whose skulls are still growing and who are the most vulnerable to the risks of radiation.”

– In 2000, a team of Sydney researchers published a scientific hypothesis about how mobile phone radiation causes cancer. The report claims that the radiation generated by cell phones causes ongoing stress to the body cells, causing them to give off ‘heat shock proteins (HSP).’ The human cells sometimes release these proteins in response to injury or infection. Such a chronic activation of the heat shock response affects the normal regulation of cells, which could result in cancer.

– In 2002, cell biologist Fiorenzo Marinelli and his team at the National Research Council in Bologna, Italy, exposed leukemia cells to continuous radio waves similar to that of cell phones. The exposed cells had a higher rate of death than the controls initially, but after further exposure, a curious thing happened: instead of more cells dying, the exposed cells were replicating furiously compared to the controls. Genes that trigger cells to multiply were turned on in a high proportion of the cells. The cancer, although briefly beaten back, had become more aggressive. Marinelli suspects that the radiation may initially damage DNA, and that this interferes with the biochemical signals in a way that ultimately triggers the cells to multiply more rapidly.

Now with all the mounting evidence, the cell phone industry still maintains their position that cell phones are safe and have even begun marketing towards children. The governments have been slow in stepping in to warn people of any danger from using cell phones. Fortunately, health officials and experts in several European countries are taking the first steps, having issued public warnings to parents urging caution about kids and cell phones,

If the previous environmental issues involving tobacco, asbestos, and lead are any indication, it takes years and even decades to accumulate the amount of evidence that would produce a definite ruling. In the case of cigarette smoking, it took two decades of study and 100 years of consumer use to gather enough data to meet research standards to demonstrate the need for the U.S. Surgeon General’s warning label on cigarette packs. Some experts say that in the case of cell phones, it will not take that long as data are coming in at a faster pace. But at the present the authorities can only urge people to exercise caution.

Replication of research is another problem. A study that comes out with a new finding generally does not gain immediate acceptance in the scientific community or the wireless industry unless another research lab has been able to replicate the work and the findings. The industry has cleverly perpetuated their position by creating an illusion of responsible follow up by always calling for more research.

When Dr. Salford published his study in 2003 showing that rat brain neurons were dying from exposure to cellphone radiation, he warned there might be similar effects in humans that over time could lead to degenerative diseases of the brain. His study was written off by the industry as a “novel” finding that needed to be replicated.

But achieving the scientific standard of replication can be complicated. Salford says if studies aren’t absolutely replicated, providing an apples-to-apples comparison, there’s wiggle room to dispute follow-up findings. Research studies require funding, and the wireless industry, after Dr. Carlo’s revelations, have been reluctant to put money into more comprehensive research. As for governments, again many European governments are taking the responsible course by funding research, but the U.S. and Canada are lagging poorly.

In 1999, CNN’s Larry King once again featured a man who brought a multimillion dollar lawsuit against cell phone manufacturers. This time the man, a Maryland neurologist, was himself diagnosed with brain cancer–again located on the side of the head where he held his cell phone. The suit was yet again dismissed, however, and the man died not long afterwards.

According to WHO report, 0.1 billion people have died from tobacco use in the 20th century, and 10 times as many will die in the 21st century. No one is suggesting that cell phones could cause as much casualties, but do we really want to wait and find out?

Unlike tobacco, the cell phone has become as an indispensable part of our lives as television and computer. It has enabled us to make a gigantic leap in the way we communicate with one another and has been credited widely with saving people’s lives in emergency situations. Cell phones are here to stay, and perhaps rightly so.

The question is not how to stop people from using this ubiquitous device but rather how to make it safer. The first step always is to admit there is a problem, hence the industry and the government have to acknowledge the health risks inherent with the present technology. This way we can all find the proper solutions that we may more enjoy the benefits of its use without sacrificing our health and wellbeing.

copyright 2005 Taraka Serrano

Cell Phones in Schools – The Great Debate

With today’s technological advances making cell phones pervasive into nearly every aspect of people’s lives, it comes as no surprise that cell phones in schools have become a hotly debated topic. There are advocates on both sides: some claim that cell phones are an inappropriate distraction during school hours, others embrace students’ familiarity with them and utilize them in class. While the jury is still out, both sides do have some intriguing points.

Mobile phone advocates claim many benefits to using the devices in educational settings; some of these advantages include:

  • Parental Involvement. Students can use cellular phones equipped with cameras to take pictures of projects they complete in class, such as group projects that utilize only class time. Generally, in these situations, students do not conduct any research or assembly of such projects at home, so parents do not get to see the result of their child’s efforts in the classroom. Allowing students to use cell phones in this capacity encourages parental involvement in their child’s life, as well as supporting their educational development.
  • Missing Assignments. Teachers can enact a buddy system in which students email or text each other with the details of assignments their buddy missed due to an absence. This will save teachers valuable time they would have otherwise spent assembling makeup packets, and will instill a sense of responsibility among students for themselves and each other.
  • Note-Taking. Students that have problems keeping up in class when taking notes can utilize the camera feature of their mobile phone to snap photos of the notes and save them for later studying and showing parents or tutors, as well as classmates who may have missed part of them. Teachers can also incorporate taking photos of notes into their buddy system for missing assignments, and allow students to forward missed information during class time to absent classmates, and likewise allow them to receive such information if they are absent.
  • Real-World Tools. Cell phones usually have features such as calculators, which most high school math classes require. Using the calculator function of their cell phone can teach students the real-world skill of utilizing what they have on hand to calculate mathematical problems in their everyday lives.
  • Improving Focus. Students with cell phones that feature music capabilities and ear buds can use them during homework periods or times of otherwise independent study. Many students find listening to music a relaxing study habit and studies of learning styles indicate that some students learn best while listening to music while working problems or reading. Students who are comfortable while studying are more likely to study longer, more often, and produce more positive results than those who do not listen to music.

On the other hand, many believe that cell phones will only contribute to already existing problems in schools, such as cheating, disrespecting teachers and staff, and instigating trouble amongst other students; some even cite the possibility of utilizing cell phones for illegal activities during school.

  • Cheating. Using a cell phone, regardless of the age of the user or the location from which they use the phone, comes with responsibility. Some advocates of banning cell phones in schools state that utilizing the camera function of a cell phone enables students to cheat on tests by snapping photos of answer keys, test contents, or the answers on a neighbor’s paper.
  • Disrespect. Students could use their phones for all sorts of mischief in class, including using the audio recording function of them to record teachers or other staff during lectures or other conversations without them being aware of the recording. Students could then use those recordings to take the speaker’s words out of context and present them in a manipulative light.
  • Instigating Trouble. Students can use their cell phones during school to cause problems amongst students and bully others. School-related violence and cases of bullying are on the rise, and officials already have their hands full dealing with problematic students and keeping order in their institutions; allowing students to use devices such as cell phones during school hours will make such problems easier to perpetrate and harder to control.
  • Illegal Activities. Students can use cell phones during school to carry out illicit activities such as placing or taking orders for drug deals, provoking students to fight each other, take and place bets on sporting events or other forms of gambling, or planning events such as bomb threats and other security breaches.
  • Distraction. Almost all of those in favor of banning cell phones from schools say that allowing their use in class will distract students from their studies. Features such as internet access and video gaming capabilities are the most frequently cited as the biggest distractions. While the internet can provide legitimate researching capabilities, playing video games provides no educational benefit at all.

Today there are schools making use of both policies. Pasco County’s Wiregrass Ranch High School utilizes mobile phones in many of its classes, including English, math, and social studies. Teachers allow students to use their phones to research literature and authors, calculate math problems, and take pictures for class projects, among other tactics. Students in this district say that they feel more respected and trust than students in districts who do not have such a privilege, and acknowledge that the devices can help them learn more about their world, both past and present. Regarding the area of behavior management, teachers in the school no longer must battle students on a daily basis to put their phones away or to pay attention during class. Instead, they are integrating cell phone usage into their lesson plans and students are participating during class more and benefiting. Students can take care of their personal business on their cell phones before and after school as well as during lunch and passing periods, so personal distractions really are a non-issue. Administrators acknowledge that some students will and do abuse the privilege. Rules, such as use restrictions and removal of other non-cell phone related privileges, are in place to discourage would-be goof-offers.

Most schools throughout the country instate some type of cell phone ban in their districts, mostly due to their connections to illegal activity and their disruptions during class. Some cite security issues, stating that ready student access to cell phones while on campus does not make them safer in the event of a violent event, even going so far as to state that they can complicate the jobs of emergency responders in such an instance. These schools also say that ready access to cell phones during the school day only inflames rumors and worsens bullying situations among students. As such, many of them enforce a “we see it, we take it” policy, and notify students as well as parents of the strict nature of such policies.

Some schools have begun to relax their mobile phone policies while others continue to uphold their bans, even tightening up their rules prohibiting the presence and usage of cell phones while on campus. Both sides have their own clear reasons for keeping their courses of action, and only time will tell as to which theory is more successful in educating students.