EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Dickson: I’m committed to not texting my kids while they’re in school

Mar 14, 2024, 6:00 AM

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Follow @amandadickson...

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

I want to ask my children’s teachers for forgiveness. I am guilty of texting my kids during school, but it stops now.

How many stories have I reported on KSL NewsRadio about the problems caused by cell phones in schools? Dozens? More? And yet, when I read an article this week from the Associated Press encouraging parents to stop texting their kids during school hours, I stopped.

Wait. I do that. What time was that last text? Oh, shoot — 11:45 in the morning? Of course, he’s in school!

What teachers say

I asked Kimberly Gardner, who has been a teacher in both elementary and middle schools for more than 30 years, whether this is a problem.

“This can be a very big issue,” she said. “It used to be a bigger issue at our school, but the last two years we’ve had a policy where if we see kids on their phones after the morning bell rings or before the end of the day bell rings, their phones are taken to the office.”

What absolutely can’t wait messages have I sent my son during the school day in the last month?

Hi honey — do you need a ride home?

Dad is making hamburgers tonight unless you want something else.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!

All of those could have waited until after 3 p.m. Of course, if it’s ever an emergency, phone policies go out the window. I know that students will be allowed to use their phones if it really, truly is an emergency, but (thank goodness) that has never happened.

How big of a problem is texting in school?

You can experiment if you want to see how big of a problem this is for teachers. Tell your child to take his phone off silent and turn the notifications on. It’s even more impactful if everyone in the family does it at the same time. It will sound like a symphony of dings and buzzes.

If your child gets those interruptions when she’s in school, it will take her minutes to bring her focus back to the lesson, if she comes back at all.

What we’re robbing our kids of

Plus, and this is big, when we text our kids during the day or respond to their texts, we are robbing them of the chance to learn how to solve problems on their own.

“By texting back and forth with a parent, a child is unable to practice either self-calming or problem-solving skills,” explained Dr. Libby Milkovich, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, to the Associated Press. “It’s easy to text, but if I don’t have a phone, I have to go ask the teacher or I have to figure it out on my own.”

Those words hit home for me. I pledge, from this day forward, to not only not text my son when he’s at school, but I will not respond to any of his texts that are not an emergency. No longer will I give an immediate thumbs up to his text that says, I picked up a shift tonight at 6.

Gardner reminded me that parents are always free to call the office, and messages are immediately passed to students.

“So, when parents say that they need to talk to their student quickly, that’s a cop-out (in most cases),” Gardner said.

I hear you, Kim. I am turning over a non-texting leaf today!

Amanda Dickson is the co-host of Utah’s Morning News and A Woman’s View on KSL NewsRadio. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Education + Schools

Columbia University students hold a protest in support of Palestinians, during the ongoing conflict...

Matt Egan, Chris Boyette, Shimon Prokupecz and Nic F. Anderson, CNN

Columbia University main campus classes will be hybrid until semester ends; NYU students, faculty arrested during protests

Columbia University, the epicenter of pro-Palestinian protests at US college campuses in recent days, says all classes at its main campus will be hybrid until the spring semester ends. 

7 hours ago

Actor Rain Wilson arrives at the Cinema for Peace benefit for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization i...

Emma Keddington

Rainn Wilson speaking at Weber State graduation, how much did it cost the school?

OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University is shelling out big bucks to have Rainn Wilson, also known as Dwight Schrute from “The Office,” speak at their graduation commencement on Friday. $125,000 to be exact. Weber State public relations manager Bryan Magaña said while expensive, this serves a higher purpose. The choice to bring in Rainn […]

8 hours ago

Student activists have spent multiple days occupying the lawns at Columbia University, calling for ...

Celina Tebor and Zoe Sottile, CNN

Rabbi associated with Columbia University recommends Jewish students ‘return home’ amid tense protests on campus

A rabbi recommended that Jewish students “return home as soon as possible and remain home” amid ongoing protests.

2 days ago

The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.A Utah cancer researcher says more study is n...

Don Brinkerhoff and Simone Seikaly

Utah cancer researcher says new accelerated aging study needs more examination

A new study says accelerated aging may be linked to early-onset cancer, but a Utah cancer researcher says more investigation is needed.

3 days ago

A crew made of up BYU students films a Coca-Cola branded advertisement at the Thanksgiving Point Me...

Cassidy Wixom, KSL.com

Coca-Cola ad made by BYU students wins film competition, will screen at theaters

An ad for Coca-Cola made by BYU students may be showing at your local movie theater sometime soon.

3 days ago

A team at the University of Utah has received funding to research if ultrasound technology can help...

Britt Johnson

University of Utah using funding for ultrasound research to treat addiction

Could an ultrasound help cure addiction? A team of researchers at the University of Utah thinks so.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

Dickson: I’m committed to not texting my kids while they’re in school