Schools Look at Cell Phone Use


Schools Look at Cell Phone Policyfrom 2007

In New Jersey recently, there was an incident in which a public

high school student recorded his teacher expressing (inflicting, really)

his religious views to the class. Most high school students know that

this is a violation of church and state, and being a public school,

these views should have been kept by the teacher to himself. In

another school, also in my home state of New Jersey, there was

another recording incident, in which a teacher was freaking out over

a student not standing during the Star-Spangled Banner. While the

teacher yelled at and berated the students, demanding that they

stand up, a student recorded him. The teacher focused his attention

on one student in particular, and then yanked the chair out from

under him.

Both of these incidents have led the school boards at these

schools to examine their cell phone policies (due to the cameras and

recording features on them).

My question, and being an educator, I may catch a little flak

here (being human as well, I expect a little fall-out), but how are

these teachers still teaching? I know none of us is perfect, and we

sometimes have a bad day and yell at kids when they frustrate us,

but pulling a chair out from under a kid to make him stand up? How

degrading is that? Whatever happened to sending a student out of

the room, calling his parents, and giving detention? Fortunately, the

stubborn brat was not hurt (I am not totally on his side, but the

handling of him was not right, and from reports, it is known that he

and his friend manipulated the teacher’s behavior—shows a pattern

from this teacher). As far as the teacher inflicting his religious views

on the students (reportedly, he told them if they were not good

Christians, they were going to Hellso much for diversity), this was

also repeated behavior that is not condoned by most school boards.

The student felt that the administrators in his school would not

believe him if he did not have evidence, so he recorded the teacher.

How are either of these teachers’ actions different form bullying?

They both used their positions to try to inflict their values or morals.

This is the real issue here, not the cell phone policy. 


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