[K12OSN] OT - Cell phones

Eric Brown ericbrow at gmail.com
Wed May 14 15:31:20 UTC 2008

I recently had a heated discussion with another teacher on this issue.
 I have always practiced modeling the proper behavior with cell phone
usage, and I do not get the problems that my co-workers talk about.  I
show the kids at the beginning of each semester how my phone is turned
off, and put away in my coat or computer bag because IMHO my purpose
for being there is to teach, and not to wait for cell phone calls.  If
there is a call important enough, anyone who knows me knows to call
the high school, and they will be put through to my room if it's truly
important.  With this attitude, I rarely have to ask anyone to put
their phone away.  If I do, it's usually only once.  Occasionally
there will be the one hold-out who thinks they just HAVE to use their
phone 24/7.  They eventually have theirs taken away by another teacher
before they get to me.

Many of my co-workers have the attitude that they are the adult, and
they are allowed to do things that students are not, including having
and using a cell phone during class.  They wear it proudly on their
belt, and take any phone call during class.  They are the ones that
seem to have the most problems with student cell phone usage.  They
are also the ones who get the angriest when I point out how modeling
proper behavior gets me more desirable results. I think their
reasoning fails because there is no law prohibiting cell phone usage
by age, similar to that of alcohol or cigarettes.

I have heard and read of many districts who ban them completely.
Usually though, these bans are struck down.  Lawyers for the students
usually point out safety concerns in incidents like Columbine.

I have also considered purchasing a cell phone jamming box.  I've
never wasted the money, but I often wish I had.  The high school
office is directly above me, and everyone up there is always using
their phones.  I think it would be funny if they suddenly couldn't.
It would be even funnier to set it on a timer to turn off just during
the school day. "How come I have signal again?".

To address your district's policy, good luck.  I don't know of any
district that was always able to ban anything completely with success.
 Particularly those items that are acceptable to use outside of
school, like rubber bands, toys, comic books, and cell phones.

On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 10:13 AM, Daniel Kuecker
<kueckerd at shenandoah.k12.ia.us> wrote:
> I apologize for not being Linux related, but I was wondering how other schools are handling cell phone use by students? Our current policy is they are not to use them in school at all, however, they can text message in their pockets without teachers knowing. We are starting to experience bullying via text messages. What are you guys/gals doing to combat this issue?
> Thanks
> Daniel
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