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My Two Cents

“My two cents” is an American idiomatic expression, taken from the original British idiom expression: to put in “my two pennies worth”. It is used to preface the stating of one’s opinion. By deprecating the opinion to follow — suggesting its value is only two cents, a very small amount — the user of the phrase hopes to lessen the impact of a possibly contentious statement, showing politeness and humility. However, it is also sometimes used with irony when expressing a strongly felt opinion.

Herald readers are invited to submit their two cents on-line on stories which have appeared in the newspaper and on our website at www.yalnews.com. Below are some of the best taken from recent submissions.

The story in last week’s Herald about the school board meeting in which cell phones were discussed generated this well written and thoughtful response from “Worried”:

 I don’t feel parents understand the problems cell phones cause. Kids are becoming addicted to them much like MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo.  They can’t sleep at night because they keep getting messages or are talking on them for hours. They wake up checking for missed messages! Dr. Kitchens mentions students refusing to give their phones up to administrators and taking a 3 day suspension instead.  Doesn’t that sound like a drug addiction?  Do parents say, “Take a 3 day…don’t give up your phone?  Is it okay to ignore the rules?  

Most importantly, cell phones take away from educational time.  The students’ minds are too focused on their incoming messages and it causes them to miss out on what is being discussed!  For all of you “text messagers”, think about this: it takes approximately 45 seconds to pull the phone out so only the owner can see it, read the message, respond to the message, and tuck the phone away.  This does not include the part where a person looks around to make sure they aren’t being watched!  This also is only based on a QUICK message.  Now, you think 45 seconds isn’t very long?  Think about a 52 minute class period that is interrupted by 15 (just a random number) – 45 second (minimum) text messages and if they student gets caught and won’t hand over the phone, that becomes several minutes.

Secondly, most phones are capable of browsing the Internet.  Nobody is monitoring what the students are looking at!  There aren’t any “blocks” for inappropriate material that can be viewed using a cell phone.  Think about this: because cell phones are Internet capable, students can use their phones to video things and post the video straight to YouTube.  They could slide the phone under the bathroom stall and in a SECOND the video is posted.  Your child might be in a video that you or he/she know nothing about!  They didn’t need a computer to get it there, either.  

Finally, most phones are camera and video phones.  Refer to the above paragraph in reference to video.  Now, think about pictures.  You’ve heard it all over the country about inappropriate pictures being taken and sent all over the school and other states.  You would like to think it’s not happening, but it is.  

Technology is not a bad thing.  I’m all for the newest, coolest gadgets.  The real issue is how they are monitored.  Cell phones cannot be monitored by teachers in the classroom.  Parents really can’t monitor them, either.  They are a bigger problem than you think and it is scary.

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