Most students in the 6th Grade have some kind of electronic gadget that they bring to school. By their sophomore year of high school, 93% of students have a phone, iPod, or MP3 in their backpack. As a result, school districts across the country are struggling to come up with an effective policy regarding electronic devices. Should they be outlawed? If you do that, prepare for the wrath of parents, who argue that they can’t keep in touch with their children unless they have a cell phone. Should schools confiscate all phones at the door, and give the phones back at the end of the day? No one wants that logistical nightmare! What if we use cell phone jammers and radiowave-blocking paint to keep students from being able to use their phones at school? Parents and students alike are threatening lawsuits if an emergency situation were to arise, and their attempts to call for help are blocked. The solution (for now) is that most schools have a “Don’t Ask…Don’t Tell” policy regarding electronic devices. This means that students can have devices, but they will not have them taken away if they are not seen or heard during the school day. The result is that students spend most of their day trying to get around the rule. Because you are a rookie teacher, students will probably think that they can pull the wool over your eyes by using one of these techniques:
I mentioned this point in the “How To Not Get Sued” portion of this website, but I want to mention it again because it is very important – When you confiscate a student’s phone, label it with the student’s name and the date you confiscated it. Make sure to LOCK IT UP in a lockable cabinet or drawer, or turn it in to an administrator as soon as possible. Also, please resist the temptation to go through the student’s phone while you have it. You open yourself to so much bad stuff when you do that!