Some parental punishment harms academic achievment

By By Emily Plesset, Fact Checker

According to a Sept. 6 Washington Post article, parents have updated their punishments to better fit technological times.  No longer are parents solely grounding their kids or keeping them home on lockdown— the so-called new and improved method of punishing involves confiscating cell phones, shutting down Facebook and taking away computer privileges.
Although to parents these punishments might seem to be more effective in teaching a lesson, students are increasingly dependent on technology to study and complete their homework.  In other words, confiscation of technology may be hazardous to a student’s academic success.
For students, class doesn’t always end when the bell rings; many teachers communicate with their students through Edline and e-mail.  On many occasions, if a teacher has a last minute announcement for his students, he will send out an e-mail containing important information such as test dates and homework assignments.  Additionally, teachers often post study guides or practice worksheets onto Edline that were not mentioned in class.  When parents block their kids from using the Internet or checking the e-mail their teacher expects students to read, students can easily miss important class assignments or helpful information.
Although many parents might think of Facebook as a distraction, many students use Facebook threads, wall posts and instant messaging to communicate with their friends and classmates about homework or studying questions.  Many students also use their cell phones to connect with each other and spend hours on the phone with their friends going over homework problems and asking studying questions. 
According to the Washington Post article, 62 percent of parents have reported taking away their teen’s cell phone as punishment.  However, by being able to send quick text messages to friends, or even use the old fashioned method of calling, teens have access to ask their classmates questions pertaining to homework, even when they are not home or away from the computer. 
Some parents might feel that technology is nothing but a distraction to teens, especially when doing homework.  While this can most definitely be true, and at times teens may find themselves overwhelmed by the temptation of irrelevant digital chatter with their friends or hypnotized by watching the latest YouTube viral, technology can very well be a teen’s best friend when completing homework assignments or answering study questions.