Cellphone Ban Lifted in New York Schools

March 12, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. carry out /ˈkær iˌaʊt/ (v. phrase) – to do or implement something
Example: The mayor decided to carry out the policy as soon as possible.

2. inconsistent /ˌɪn kənˈsɪs tənt / (adj.) – not happening in the same way
Example: His inconsistent performance may result in having lower grades in school.

3. aid /eɪd / (v.) – to help
Example: Additional research can aid you in finishing your paper.

4. instructional /ɪnˈstrʌkʃənl̟ / (adj.) – having details on how something can be used or done
ExampleInstructional videos can help us learn how to make an origami.

5. displeased /dɪsˈpliːzd / (adj.) – being dissatisfied or unhappy
Example: My mother was displeased about my low grades in science.


Read the text below.
New York mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted the ban on bringing cellphones to schools.

In 2006, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented a policy banning students from using cellphones inside schools. This policy was carried out to help prevent cheating and to avoid theft among students.

Effective March 1, the ban will no longer be applied to NY schools. The ban will be lifted because it prevented parents from easily contacting their children, thus causing worry. De Blasio also said that other schools in the city allow students to bring their phones, making the implementation of the ban inconsistent.

Letting students bring their phones to school does not only ensure safety; it also helps with the learning process of students. Used as learning tools, phones can aid students in immediately getting answers to their questions. Phones can also make learning interesting, as they give students access to helpful audio and video materials online.

School administrations have three options to control cellphone-use. The first option requires students to store phones in a specific place during classes. The second option is to let students use phones during lunch or in selected areas only. The last option allows students to use phones during classes, but only for instructional purposes.

However, some people were displeased with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s move.  Former Assistant Secretary of Education Chester Finn stated that lifting the ban only makes the teachers’ jobs a lot harder. Finn said that teachers will have more difficulties getting the attention of their students during class. Christine Rosen, a writer, added that using cellphones might prevent students from learning skills such as socializing and proper face-to-face communication.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with Mayor de Blasio’s decision to lift the cellphone ban in New York schools? Why or why not?
·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, what else can be the advantages and disadvantages of letting students use phones in school?

Discussion B

·         How can a student’s learning experience be improved in school?
·         How can students stay focused during class?

March 12, 2015