The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Do cell phones belong in the classroom? Students debate the pros and cons 2013.05.22

Written by Steve Lauber.

Cell phones can lead to some serious debate when considering their place in school.

Some would say they should not be used at all, while others see benefits the technology has to offer in learning.

Morenci Area High School’s rules allow students to use their phones during the lunch period, but currently there isn’t a particular rule that all teachers follow regarding use in the classroom.

Some teachers allow students to use their phones for study purposes, such as taking photos of diagrams or notes, researching, and using phone calendars for assignment due dates. Many students want to carry a phone and use it without first seeking permission.

Morenci English teacher Sally Kruger turned the debate into an assignment, asking her sophomore students to discuss the issue and write an essay arguing either for or against the use of cell phones in the classroom.

Following are two examples from each side of the debate.

AGAINST—All the way through high school my dad was able to live without having a phone in school. People always argue that we should have one for emergencies or to use as a calculator. Most people are only going to use it to text and to cheat.

“Well, we can use it for spell check.” What’s wrong with using a dictionary or asking your teacher?

“We can use it for a calculator.” All math classrooms are equipped with calculators.

“What if there is a family emergency or just an emergency in general?” I, personally, would not want a text message saying a family member had died. I would rather have my family or counselor pull me out of class to tell me. Even if there was an emergency at school, your parents are still going to have to call the school to come and get you.

There is no point in having cell phones in school. Our parents were able to go through school without phones so why can’t we? We are still learning the same things.

FOR—These days pretty much everybody has a cell phone. The debate now is whether or not we should have them in class. I believe thatwe should.

First, it could allow us to take notes without having to write them in pencil. Since there are people like me who have poor handwriting, it would make sense to type them so I could actually read them.

Also, it would allow some of the children to stop worrying about trying to hide them and just focus on their class work. I feel if students are allowed to have them it will also eliminate the fun people have breaking the rules.

Finally, for “emergency” type situations, if you forget something and need to call your parents, you won’t have to take that long walk all the way to the office. Also, if you have a personal issue and don’t want to involve your friends or others, just send a text to your parents and not worry about other people knowing your business.

Overall, I find cell phones in the classroom a useful tool with many benefits. I believe they should be allowed in the classroom and could be used beneficially. I hope you take this into consideration and change the rule.

AGAINST—I have decided to go against the subject of having phones in class. I made my decision to go against it because I think there are more cons than pros in the situation. I feel that students would abuse this privilege within a few weeks and nobody would pay attention to the teachers.

There are some benefits from having phones in class, but I’m worried about the efficiency of the students. Eventually, every rule gets broken, and every privilege gets abused. It would be easier for students to cheat on tests and they would spend more time texting or on social networks rather than using them for specifically educational purposes.

FOR—Technology, and learning to adapt to it, without a doubt, moves at an alarming rate. Kids deal with technology more today than they did even ten years ago. With the changing of technology during our times, I believe, so must the minds of our superiors. As with anything in teen life, if it is forbidden, the majority will try it anyway and get away with it.

The use of phones in school isn’t even necessarily bad. As long as it is allowed with teachers giving the students the opportunity to show maturity with the use of these items, I feel it can actually be good.

Phones are a responsibility. Our parents give us these phones. If we abuse our privilege, it is their duty to punish us. If our grades suffer because we have our phone, we pay the price.

I believe allowing us to have phones in class gives us the opportunity to learn how to discipline ourselves regarding technology. Abusing it will hurt us in the long run.

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