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2 Bumps

Phones at school in light of emergencies

This is the ongoing saga of someone I went to school with who has a teenage daughter. Daughter got in trouble for texting at school, all well and good, everyone agrees, bad thing, don't do it, take your detention. Here's the conflict - the dean of her school has decided the punishment ongoing is that she is not allowed to be in possession of her phone on school grounds, ever. Not at lunch, not before school, never. Any time she is caught with a phone in her hand, even if it's not on, she is disciplined, to the point where it's reached suspensions.

Here's her mom's view - the school regularly goes on lockdown. Not just due to sensationalist stuff like bomb threats, but due to the typical drug dealer/gangbanger type stuff that shows up at any school in a metro area these days. It has resulted in things like some schools being evacuated while others are on lock-down, and parents not being able to pin down where each of their kids are, or make arrangements for the high school age ones to watch the little ones.

If the phone is not on (at one point they suspended her for having a phone in her purse with a dead battery), should the school still have grounds to discipline for being in possession of it?

 

ETA: everyone seems focused on the rule breaking and ignoring what the rule actually is, which is the point of the question - is it a good idea to have that kind of rule to begin with, whether it's broken or not?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 4:52 PM on Feb. 15, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 50 (417,611 Credits)
Answers (36)
  • So the argument is that the no phone rule is ok since other students will have one and then they can break the rule to let her use it? That makes even less sense.

    I think in an a for real life threatening emergency situation, then the fact that a student was on their phone for help or notifying parents they are okay is completely different.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:01 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • I think it's a bad idea not being allowed to have a phone, especially in light of what has happened at her school and others. I would want my daughter to be able to contact me in a bad situation.
    Nos4

    Answer by Nos4 at 6:06 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • I am also confused on why the parent would need the high school student to watch the elementary school student because of a lock down.

    Because they were on lock down past 3pm
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:09 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • Too bad schools weren't as tough on bullying as they are on punishing someone for texting...
    Nos4

    Answer by Nos4 at 6:09 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • Okay so lets try a different angle here. How do you suggest they handle MULTIPLE phone violations to prevent disruption and distraction in the learning environment?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:09 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • To be honest, if it were my kid I'd get them a backpack with an inner zip pocket and tell her to keep the phone in there. For emergencies only during school hours. If she takes it out for any other reason, and gets busted, that's on her. She'll have to deal with it like a big girl.
    Nimue930

    Answer by Nimue930 at 6:14 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • How do you suggest they handle MULTIPLE phone violations to prevent disruption and distraction in the learning environment?

    Punish the actual disruptions. When a kid habitually talks in class, you don't tape their mouth shut for the rest of the year, you punish them when they talk.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:15 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • When a kid habitually talks in class, you don't tape their mouth shut for the rest of the year, you punish them when they talk.

    This is true- but cell phone use is a much more controllable offense. I can understand why they would do this after multiple offences. Kinda like if you keep smacking the other kids in the face with the ball at gym- you can no longer use the ball. The ball is more controllable than the child. Now should it be a 'forever' ban...no... maybe start with a week and then increase it at each future offense...
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • Personally, I don't agree with the rule, and the parents could probably challenge it in court. Texting in class is rightfully not allowed. When I was in college nearly ten years ago, a ringing cell phone in one of my classes would cause the owner to have her grade lowered by a letter for each offense. Needless to say, everyone turned all phones off during that class, period. But a teenager and her parents in the circumstances you described need to have contact with each other. At the very most, the girl should be required to give her phone to the teacher during class and retrieve it on her way out. She should be allowed to carry it and not use it. I would be up in arms if I were her mother.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 1:29 AM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • Well I believe that's taking it too far. At my kids' school they are required to leave their phones in their locker and turned off. The school understands that kids have to call or text parents to come get them after school and activities/practice, etc. If a kid is caught with it in the classroom then they are punished.

    It's unreasonable to ask a kid not to have a phone at all while at school. Sometimes it is needed right after school once they've gone to their locker and are on their way out the door. If I am running late I text my dd and tell her I'm on my way. That way if it's cold out she doesn't have to stand out in the cold until I get there. She can wait in the cafeteria until I text her that I'm there.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 6:09 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

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