Is it appropriate for my middle schooler to have a cell phone?
When it comes to a middle schooler having a cell phone, there really should be a reason or a purpose in having it. It is all about connections: If your child has a medical condition that requires constant monitoring, a cell phone can the ability to reach you in case a problem should arise. Other times, your preteen may need to be picked up from a practice, from an extracurricular activity or even from friend's house, and a cell phone will facilitate easy contact with you.
As long as you provide your child a reason for having a cell phone, it is appropriate. But don't just give your child one because everyone else has one, or your child is unlikely to appreciate or to understand why it's there.
Make sure your child knows the ground rules for having a cell phone and that it is not a toy. Let your child know when and where it can be used: only for an emergency, to call home to get picked up or to let someone know that practice is running late. Also, discuss with your child any rules that school has regarding cell phones.