Unplug & Hug Blog

May 22, 2019

Please read to support phone policy change at Thoreau Middle School


We are writing to you as parents of future Thoreau Middle School students and we'd like to make you aware of a concerning issue many have seen at the school.  

Currently, students at Thoreau may use their phones throughout the day - during most classes, lunch, and hall time - to text, play games, check/post on social media, watch YouTube, and take pictures of themselves and others.  While teachers sometimes ask students to use their phones for educational purposes (Kahoot! for example), the administration is clear that cell phones are not required at school. 

According to research, cell phone use during school hours is hurting our kids - both academically and emotionally.  If you take time to research this important topic, you will find study after study linking cell phone use among school-aged kids to depression, anxiety, lowered executive function, shortened attention span, lower academic marks, and e...

May 10, 2019

I teach middle school music in Greensboro, North Carolina. Being a music teacher allows me to see my kids grow up in a way that other teachers don’t. I see one student grow from a 5th grader to an 8th grader, from a kid to a teenager. It often reminds me of how fun and confusing being a middle school student was.

Technology is a huge part of my students’ lives. Each of them has their own personal laptop for school. Most of their grades, homework, and communication with teachers are done through that laptop. By the time they hit 8th Grade, almost all of my students have a cell phone. Not just a cell phone, but a smart phone.

Once students get a cell phone, I notice some major changes- They huddle around their phone to watch videos, they talk about the importance of subscribers and followers, they dissect the social media of their peers, they all have their phones next to them when they’re in a social situation, they are expected to communicate with parents and friends instantly, their lan...

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Annabel Olah

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