“Of Phones And Children”



This afternoon, my daughter came home from school crying. She went straight to her room and sobbed her heart out, piteously. Thus, my mom who was the one present when she arrived, asked her why. In copious tears, my daughter painfully detailed how her phone got destroyed at school–that it didn’t work anymore. When I went downstairs, mom rehashed what happened. Of course, I immediately asked my kid about it and she reiterated the painful tale.

Being a normally protective parent, I went berserk when she got to the part of her narrative where she mentioned that she suspected one of her classmates to have caused the accident–or non-accident, actually.

My daughter explained that this specific girl was near her, that time, while she fixed her school bag, anticipating the end of another school day. Preoccupied with gathering her things, my daughter was not able to notice how her cellphone went from sitting, safely, on her desk to getting shattered on the floor.

What compelled her to suspect her classmate, my daughter stressed, was the fact that this classmate was the only one happily dancing and overtly unconcerned as all her other classmates gathered near her, surprised and saddened by the crash.

You see, my daughter is only eleven years old. While it’s not really recommended to permit a child to bring gadgets and toys to school, I believe that a phone may be a significant link especially while she isn’t home–and away from any immediate family–the whole day. A lesser evil, so to speak, as I feel more confident knowing that we can easily contact her during emergencies.

My daughter has a regular school service that brings her to and from school everyday at a pre-arranged schedule. Yet, already proven a lot of times, my kid utilizes her phone in order to inform my mom or me regarding early school dismissals, headaches, or dizzy spells that necessitated fetching her from school sans waiting for her designated service. So, yes, her phone is an implement that enables instant, necessary communication with us.

Now, a phone can be expensive, especially for single mothers, like me, who do their best to provide the needs of their children. In truth, it will take me months to even save (if at all possible) for another one. Hence, I immediately decided to speak with her teacher the soonest available time possible.

Although, I’m in a calmer mood now. In as much as I still feel bad for my daughter, I also hate to create unnecessary upheaval in anyone else’s life. Being the classic pacifist that I am, I avoid any encounter of conflict. It’s not because I fear discord but because I simply dislike spending precious energy on trivialities that can actually be solved in due time. I don’t desire nonsensical issues that may easily escalate into bigger problems, as well.

You see, arriving at my child’s school and probing into the matter may generate ill consequences–if not for the inferred offender, then for my daughter–especially if my parental concern gets misinterpreted or worse.

As I ponder the matter deeper, however, I realize that I still need to do something about it, don’t I? So, I plan to write a formal missive instead. Perhaps, I can basically point out the subject and the resulting disquiet it produced; then, I’ll request to-whom-it-may-concern to look into the matter. It will not revert my daughter’s phone back to its functioning state for sure, but it may serve as a reminder for us to seriously respect other people’s properties.

Not to be taken as a threat, a pre-judgement, or anything else, but aren’t we all expected to learn that trait, respect, early on in life? After all, isn’t that the vital cusp of humaneness? And, where to better learn it aside from home but in school?

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