Mobile phones have long presented a distraction that affects the learning capability of students. The Principal of Metro High School, John Black published his address to the parents of the student body (12/5/04), through the Metro High School newsletter. He presented his reasoning regarding the ban of mobile phones in school. In response to this issue, May Brown, a parent, outlined that mobile phones should be allowed on school boundaries to increase the safety of students.
Black asserts his authority to the parents, contending that mobile phones will be banned at school. He reminds them of the earlier issues the school has faced in regards to mobile phone usage. Specifically, he focuses on the fact that ‘classes [are] being severely disrupted’ and that ‘unsavory incidents’ have occurred with ’37 students…claiming that phones have been stolen’. This overwhelming use of evidence provokes the parents to have self-assurance that the school is acting in a manner that supports the opportunity for students to ‘excel’ without distraction. This in turn appeals to the parents’ common sense, with the student use of phones being considered as ‘obsessive’, positioning the parents to support the ban, as no parent would want their child to be distracted at school.
Black believes that “every sensible person will agree” with his opinion, giving parents the perception that, as a principal, he is a figure of authority, and believes that they are educated enough to understand the argument. Therefore, by appealing to the parents’ common sense, it persuades the reader to agree by implying that anyone who disagrees lacks practical intelligence and cannot see what is self-evident. As “obsessive text messaging in particular seems to be a pastime which distracts students from their work”, Black is able to appeal to education. This immediately reflects back towards the parents that