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Cell for child?
Old 07-15-2020, 07:52 PM
  #1

My son is 11 and will be attending school at a private school for 6th grade. He ha attending the school I teach in since kindergarten. This is the first time I will be a few miles away during the school day. I have been thinking of getting him a cell phone for emergencies. Most all of his friends have them, but I never saw a need since he was just down the hall from me. What would you do?


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Cell phone w no internet
Old 07-15-2020, 08:12 PM
  #2

Here is a thread I saved about cell phones that might interest you. Someone was looking for one without internet capability.
http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=636293
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Old 07-15-2020, 08:41 PM
  #3

Many of my former students had cell phones for safety, and I taught primary. In my school they had to be kept in backpacks at school, but at dismissal I often saw kids on the phone, checking in with parents. I think it is a good idea.
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LG Tracfone
Old 07-15-2020, 08:47 PM
  #4

You may want to look into an LG Tracfone. HSN carries them for $100 or less, usually with free shipping. You can read their reviews and watch a video of their presentation. If he loses it, breaks it or it's stolen you are not out too much money. After he uses up the minutes included with the phone you could go half with him if you need to add more time.
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:33 AM
  #5

My oldest son is going into 4th grade and I feel the same way. Right now he's in the same building as me so I see no need for him to have one since I am right there. However, when he goes to middle school in a couple of years, I will probably get him one. I know I will feel better if he can get in touch with me if he needs to. Last year I helped coach Girls on the Run after school and I noticed that several of our girls would pull out their phones at the end of practice to check in with their parents and let them know we were finished. It was nice for them to have that ability to communicate.


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Old 07-16-2020, 04:30 AM
  #6

May I ask...

School’s policy on cell phones? If there’s an emergency at school, they will contact you or allow him to do so. A phone may not be a true need.

Pick up plan? Will you be picking him up at school each day? If so, a phone might not be a true need.

Will he be attending activities off school grounds after school? If so, a phone might be a true need if not in a building.

What will the phone really be used for? Only you can determine if your son has a true need for a phone.

I know many students, even in second grade, have a phone at my private school. If there’s an emergency, we contact patents. They always say “emergencies.” They can’t be carried or used in school. Parents pick up and drop off, so they know where they are.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:43 AM
  #7

My kids were always at a a different school than me. They did not get phones until high school.

That being said my youngest graduated 10 years ago. Not sure what I would do today.
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:51 AM
  #8

That is when I got my son a cell phone for those same reasons. Since we were no longer at the same school I wanted them to have it in case of an emergency.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:25 AM
  #9

In these fragile times, I would be getting my child one.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:50 AM
  #10

I would get him a phone. My DD got one in grade 6, and my son will get one when he starts grade 6 in September. They got/will get hand me downs from a family member with a cheap plan. Unlimited texting, 100 call minutes, tiny amount of data. They don’t need data but a small amount is part of the package. They take the bus to school. This way they let me know if the bus is delayed, if they are going to a friends after school, etc. If the bus doesn’t show up in the morning (sometimes breaks down in winter), they call grandparents for a ride to school. I also don’t have a landline so I wouldn’t feel comfortable with them staying alone for a bit without a way to call in an emergency. Over the past few years, most of my grade 6 students have a phone.


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Old 07-16-2020, 06:54 AM
  #11

I also think he should have a phone if it isn't against school policy. Unlike the old days, there isn't a pay phone on every corner. I think you will both feel better.

I hope everyone knows what a pay phone is! I saw a YouTube video the other day. Two teenagers were trying to figure out how to use a rotary dial phone. It was hysterical.
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Not needed
Old 07-16-2020, 09:03 AM
  #12

It looks like I'm in the minority. In my opinion, I don't think he needs one. I don't get what kind of "emergency" he'd have at 11 that the school couldn't call you or that he couldn't use the office phone, the phone of a coach, or the phone of the friend. The only reason I could think he might need one is if he will be home alone waiting for you to get home and there is no land line. Then, I see where one would be necessary, so there would be no other available phone.

With that said, you need to do what makes you feel comfortable and safe and what works best for you and your family!
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:20 AM
  #13

I’m probably in the minority here, but my kids have had iPhones/iPads since they were very young, like Kindergarten/1st grade. It didn’t add much to our monthly plan, and it gave them something to do on long car rides. As a result, they’re pretty technologically savvy, and the reading and writing practice that happened while the texted grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. was great. They could also call us if they needed to when they were at a friend’s house or at an activity and we weren’t there. All this to say, I don’t think there’s a “too young.” If you’re more comfortable with him having a device, I say go for it.
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:51 PM
  #14

I guess I am in the minority. Teachers 4, I agree with you. Kind of took the words out of my mouth. There are phones in school! Don't mean to sound snarky, but at that age they should have supervision during the day-hence at school. Unless he is left alone which is not legal, he shouldn't need a phone.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:22 PM
  #15

Mine got phones when they started staying after school for practices, going to friend's houses on their own, etc., and were independent enough not to be with an adult at all times. Before then there was no need. For all of them this was 7th grade when they started riding the city bus home from school. Until then, nope. IMO there are much more negative things about having phones when they are young than there are positive.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:32 PM
  #16

My son is about to turn 15 and will be a sophomore. He still doesn't have a phone.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:42 PM
  #17

My sons each got one when they began junior high. My oldest and middle son's school had a bomb threat and the pick up was a nightmare. The staff was doing the best they could, but it is hard to find two kids in the midst of hundreds of kids on a football field.

I called each, told them where I was parked, and they came to me. I was very grateful they had phones.
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:15 PM
  #18

That is what has me thinking about a phone for him. Last year there were 3 lockdowns at 3 different middle and high schools in our district. The school system was virtually silent and parents had no way of getting in touch with kids- unless the child had a cell. His new school’s policy is that phones are fines they stay in their book bags and are allowed to be out during Afterschool. I don’t want him online- so I either want a ohone with a tiny amount of data and some parent controls. We got him an iPad for his 11th bday and the parental controls are great. I have it shut off during certain hours and have set screen time limits for different games and apps. It is connected to my iPhone so I can see what he’s doing and with whom. He knows a couple of kids at his new school, but they are older. The school is grades 5-8. I’ve been looking at tracphones and have talked to a customer service rep at my cell carrier. To go with my cell carrier, it would add $100 to the bill. That is way too much with private school tuition. The tracphone might be the best option.
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