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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

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

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (36)
  • Also, my kids' school has been on lockdown three times this year alone. All three times were because of violence that happened in the neighborhood area. This is a nice neighborhood, but 1) we are surrounded by ghetto and 2) even "rich" people can be prone to violence (two lockdowns over the past two years were due to domestic violence issues down the street). The school goes on lockdown when a suspect known to be violent is on the loose in the area. I'd be glad if my kids could at least gain access to their phones if teachers allowed them to go to their lockers. Then I would know what's going on and that they were safe.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 6:20 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • "Well if they are on lockdown, then they are at school. "

    Not necessarily. There are plans in place at most schools on how to evacuate if the threat is inside the school If the child is evacuated, then sometimes classes end up in different areas depending on which area of the building they left. So finding a child can be difficult in such cases.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 6:26 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • That rule is far too harsh. If anyone felt the need to take legal action against it, you could argue that it is a health/safety hazard. In the event of a crisis (fire, gas leak, break in, drug bust) I know that school sometimes have to be evacuated. If that happens during bad weather you can't make the kids stand outside for however long it takes to clear the school. They have to go home. Are you seriously telling me that dean of this school is going to call each individual parent to make sure those kids get evacuated? They would never clear the campus in a safe and timely fashion.

    Answer by army.wife23 at 7:05 PM on Feb. 16, 2013

  • I feel a cell phone is always a wonderful in emergencies. However in school they are used to cheat, talk, text, disrupt class, play games ect... I would allow students to have them but turned off until the end of the school day.

    Answer by MrsMorrell at 1:12 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • This is my view.
    Cell phones are fine in a backpack etc. As long as they do not come out (visible in any way, during the entire school day. That includes lunch, trips to the bathroom, in the passing in the halls, NONE.

    If you need to get ahold of your child and it is an emergency....., IMO the school should be called and either the child should come to the office to take acall on the school phone OR come to the office to use the cell phone. Every day stuff. N. they can take the call after school has been let out for the day.
    IMO if the child breaks the rule, they should get detention. If it continues to be a problem then all phone priveleges should be revolked and you again call the office to relay and emergency message.
    It is the child's responsibility to obey the rules in order to retain the priveledges for when they are really needed as in an emergency.

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:49 PM on Feb. 20, 2013

  • Thats ridiculous, its definitely a safety issue. If something bad were to ever happen to her before school or even during school while shes outside or something like if she was assaulted or any type of thing could arise where she needed her phone.

    Answer by janieishappy at 10:32 PM on Mar. 11, 2013

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