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How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 12:52 pm
by ph4ever
Up here in Seattle there are a couple of discussions going on regarding the technology that we and our children use and from my understanding discussions similar in nature are going on in other school districts accross the nation.

#1 - Student disobeys the school rules and has a cell phone on in school. Cell phone is confiscated pursuant to school policy. Do you feel the school has the right to go through all the texts and images in the cell phone?

#2 - Changing of student handbook enabling adminstrators to discipline kids for messages through Facebook or other social media INCLUDING those posted from a students home computer during their personal time. While I agree that there needs to be a certain amount of monitoring going on to avoid a Columbine type incident and to curb school bullying, I also believe there needs to be a line drawn as to how much monitoring is too much. If your student child is not involved in any extra curricular activity that involves a morals commitment should your school be allowed to discipline them for their off campus behavior? Is it legal for schools to hold students responsible for their off campus behavior?

Thoughts?

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 1:02 pm
by citcat
:o They certainly can confiscate the phone, but have absolutely NO right in looking to see what's in/on it. And also have NO business in home computer stuff. Disciplining kids at school for something done at home ? For gosh sakes. That's the parents' job, and let's hope they take that job seriously.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 1:13 pm
by Skibo
1. Take the phone and smash it. At least that is the action the teachers took when we traded baseball cards during class back in the good old days. They took them and tore them in half. They did return the pieces at the end of class. :-?

2. Schools should not be involved in any type of off campus behavior. It is the parents responsibility to raise their children. If any laws are broken, there is a legal system in place to address the delinquent kids.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 1:17 pm
by pair8head
I remember the only thing a teacher ever took from me was a squirt gun, and he gave it back at the end of the school year.

These days of ZERO tolerance that squirt gun would get a kid tossed from school.

I understand most of the schools around our area take the phones away and the parents have to come in to claim them. In my opinion it should end there. NO on searching the texts and pictures.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 1:19 pm
by springparrot
We had a principal that had a fit over kids being on myspace.
He had no business trying to 'police' what was being done at home.
:evil: :evil:

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 2:01 pm
by SharkOnLand
ph4ever wrote:Up here in Seattle there are a couple of discussions going on regarding the technology that we and our children use and from my understanding discussions similar in nature are going on in other school districts accross the nation.

#1 - Student disobeys the school rules and has a cell phone on in school. Cell phone is confiscated pursuant to school policy. Do you feel the school has the right to go through all the texts and images in the cell phone?

#2 - Changing of student handbook enabling adminstrators to discipline kids for messages through Facebook or other social media INCLUDING those posted from a students home computer during their personal time. While I agree that there needs to be a certain amount of monitoring going on to avoid a Columbine type incident and to curb school bullying, I also believe there needs to be a line drawn as to how much monitoring is too much. If your student child is not involved in any extra curricular activity that involves a morals commitment should your school be allowed to discipline them for their off campus behavior? Is it legal for schools to hold students responsible for their off campus behavior?

Thoughts?
#1 - Depends. Does the school keep the phone (per the policy)? If it's a "temporary" confiscation, and they intend to return the phone, they shouldn't look through it. If they keep it, and it is now their property, they can do whatever they want with it.

#2 - They should be able to discipline kids based on what they do on school time/property. If the student is using school resources (email account/computers/message boards/etc.) the school has every right to discipline the student. If the school notices troubling behavior off school grounds/property and not during school time, they should bring it to the parents' attention. There also may be First Amendment issues with disciplining kids for something they said away from school.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 2:14 pm
by ph4ever
SharkOnLand wrote:
ph4ever wrote:Up here in Seattle there are a couple of discussions going on regarding the technology that we and our children use and from my understanding discussions similar in nature are going on in other school districts accross the nation.

#1 - Student disobeys the school rules and has a cell phone on in school. Cell phone is confiscated pursuant to school policy. Do you feel the school has the right to go through all the texts and images in the cell phone?

#2 - Changing of student handbook enabling adminstrators to discipline kids for messages through Facebook or other social media INCLUDING those posted from a students home computer during their personal time. While I agree that there needs to be a certain amount of monitoring going on to avoid a Columbine type incident and to curb school bullying, I also believe there needs to be a line drawn as to how much monitoring is too much. If your student child is not involved in any extra curricular activity that involves a morals commitment should your school be allowed to discipline them for their off campus behavior? Is it legal for schools to hold students responsible for their off campus behavior?

Thoughts?
#1 - Depends. Does the school keep the phone (per the policy)? If it's a "temporary" confiscation, and they intend to return the phone, they shouldn't look through it. If they keep it, and it is now their property, they can do whatever they want with it.

#2 - They should be able to discipline kids based on what they do on school time/property. If the student is using school resources (email account/computers/message boards/etc.) the school has every right to discipline the student. If the school notices troubling behavior off school grounds/property and not during school time, they should bring it to the parents' attention. There also may be First Amendment issues with disciplining kids for something they said away from school.
Regarding your #1 - Let's face it cell phones can be costly. Do you believe the school has the right to keep a cell phone that a parent paid for?

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 2:24 pm
by Skibo
ph4ever wrote:
Regarding your #1 - Let's face it cell phones can be costly. Do you believe the school has the right to keep a cell phone that a parent paid for?
If the school policy states the phone will be confiscated then the school should take the phone. It really doesn't matter who paid for the phone. The parent should have enough sense to make sure their child does not violate the policy. Guns are expensive too. If the kid takes a gun to school does the school have the right to take the gun that a parent paid for? Actions have consequences.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 2:31 pm
by tikitatas
The school I taught at had a very well publicized policy that every student, parent/caregiver had a copy of via the student handbook. Cell phones were to be left in lockers and not carried in class. Students were permitted to use them outside of the school building. Students having them in class had their phones confiscated, placed in the office fro retrieval at the end of the day. No staff member was to operate his or her phone on school hours either.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 3:03 pm
by ph4ever
Skibo wrote:
ph4ever wrote:
Regarding your #1 - Let's face it cell phones can be costly. Do you believe the school has the right to keep a cell phone that a parent paid for?
If the school policy states the phone will be confiscated then the school should take the phone. It really doesn't matter who paid for the phone. The parent should have enough sense to make sure their child does not violate the policy. Guns are expensive too. If the kid takes a gun to school does the school have the right to take the gun that a parent paid for? Actions have consequences.
Oh please, a parent can not monitor their high schoolers actions 100% of the time 24/7. If you think that then you're the one that doesn't have sense.

If the school policy states the school will permanently confiscate the phone then fine, that is a consequence that the students and parents will have to face. I honestly have not heard of a school that will not eventually return the phone to the parent, have you? When my son got his phone he was a senior in high school, the policy was if the phone was on in school it would be confiscated and he knew that if it was confiscated it wouldn't be picked up by me until the end of the year. Even though the phone was a gift from his future step father, his father also agreed with that rule.

You analogy using guns is way like comparing apples to oranges. The majority of teens don’t carry guns but they do cell phones. Of those that DO carry guns to school, they don't usually get them from their parents either.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 3:42 pm
by JollyMon66
ph4ever wrote:Up here in Seattle there are a couple of discussions going on regarding the technology that we and our children use and from my understanding discussions similar in nature are going on in other school districts accross the nation.

#1 - Student disobeys the school rules and has a cell phone on in school. Cell phone is confiscated pursuant to school policy. Do you feel the school has the right to go through all the texts and images in the cell phone?

#2 - Changing of student handbook enabling adminstrators to discipline kids for messages through Facebook or other social media INCLUDING those posted from a students home computer during their personal time. While I agree that there needs to be a certain amount of monitoring going on to avoid a Columbine type incident and to curb school bullying, I also believe there needs to be a line drawn as to how much monitoring is too much. If your student child is not involved in any extra curricular activity that involves a morals commitment should your school be allowed to discipline them for their off campus behavior? Is it legal for schools to hold students responsible for their off campus behavior?

Thoughts?

Looking at the content of the phone just because the phone is taken away at school....NO WAY. I see this no different than a cop looking in the trunk of a car pulled over for a minor traffic voiolation because the driver "looks Columbian" and he just might have a kilo stashed there.

Regarding "checking up" on public school students online posting activity to just look for something...NO WAY.

I do think that there may be more wiggle room for checking up on students who are enrolled at private schools...in particular Christian schools IF the school has advised the students and families of a moral code they expect the student live by. For example, I can think of a local Christian college that has been known to send "spies" to neighboring schools and bars to look for students. All students entering that college are advised and sign a pledge to live their personal lives a certain way. I don't agree with this but then again I didn't want to go to a school like that.

Worth noting...my son's high school just instituted a random drug testing policy for kids involved in band, sports, and even those who buy a parking pass. Not wild about that idea but I trust my kid has nothing to hide and if he does I guess we may find out.
:-?

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 3:55 pm
by PetalMel
I work at a school and our policy for cell phones is that kids can have them and use them between classes or at lunch. If they use them during class, they get a warning, and if the student has had repeated (not defined by what is "repeated"--left up to the teacher's discretion) incidents in a class, the phone is taken to the office and the parents need to come pick it up. As for looking at the content, that is not discussed in our policy (of which I am aware...) and I don't think there is any need to review the content. The issue, IMO, is the disruption of the phone use, not what the student is looking at.


As for off time activities, such as facebook, etc. Our school has a policy that kids can be held liable for the content of what they post if involves the school in some way. What that means is that if a student threatens another student and it comes to light during school hours (the student tells administration, etc.) then it becomes a school matter from a safety perspective, the police liaison is brought in to investigate, and the student can be disciplined regarding on the outcome of the investigation. Our distict has had a few incidents of kids posting threats to others or saying they would harm someone on school grounds. The same has happened with students sending harrassing texts to others and the receiving student coming to administration out of concern something could happen at school. Often these incidents get referred for an internal assessment by school mental health folk (social workers, psychologist) then administration makes a decision on what to do school wise. As far as I am aware, the school does not routinely monitor what kids do on facebook and other sites, but will respond if a potentially harmful situation is brought to the school's attention.


I think that there is a fine line between over monitoring and being proactive, especially since kids have access to so many ways to communicate with each other. I think that schools can go over board very easily and invade a student's privacy (or the family's for that matter.)

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 3:55 pm
by Skibo
How about if a school turns on a web cam of a school supplied laptop while the student is at home and records what is going on? Don't scoff a SD very near to me is now going to be spending a lot of money in legal defense and the eventual damages to the students and family.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:00 pm
by pair8head
Skibo wrote:How about if a school turns on a web cam of a school supplied laptop while the student is at home and records what is going on? Don't scoff a SD very near to me is now going to be spending a lot of money in legal defense and the eventual damages to the students and family.
There is more then one School District with that problem.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:06 pm
by LIPH
PetalMel wrote:I work at a school and our policy for cell phones is that kids can have them and use them between classes or at lunch. If they use them during class, they get a warning, ...
If the policy says no phones during class, why should they get a warning? They know the policy, deal with the consequences.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:13 pm
by ph4ever
Skibo wrote:How about if a school turns on a web cam of a school supplied laptop while the student is at home and records what is going on? Don't scoff a SD very near to me is now going to be spending a lot of money in legal defense and the eventual damages to the students and family.

This happened with a school in PA and the US District Attorneys office decided not to bring charges against the school because the intent was not criminal. The case all came about when a student was called in and accused of taking drugs based on the webcam photos taken by monitoring software that was installed on the computer and the student was not made aware of this software. The school has changed their policy now to require permission be given before the monitoring software be turned on. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2367975,00.asp

I have problems with the "secret" monitoring software. Too many instances of teachers being arrested for child p o r n. A webcam in a student's bedroom invites problems IMHO.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:17 pm
by ph4ever
LIPH wrote:
PetalMel wrote:I work at a school and our policy for cell phones is that kids can have them and use them between classes or at lunch. If they use them during class, they get a warning, ...
If the policy says no phones during class, why should they get a warning? They know the policy, deal with the consequences.
Probably because if you confiscated every student's cell phone on the first infraction there would be too many phones to keep track of. :wink:

I heard a story the other day about schools teaching children manners (although it should be a parent's job) and finding out that if they teach the children respect and manners it greatly improves the amount of teaching time. On average teachers were spending 30% classroom time dealing with unruly students. The manners and consideration taught cut that 30% down to 15%.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:25 pm
by buffettbride
1. No

2. No

I'm the mommy.

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:34 pm
by Big Phan
I don't know the answers, but here's some stuff to ponder...

Should a teacher's personal home computer be considered public property if he/she accesses the school network via VPN?

Back in the day when students passed notes in class, did teachers read the notes they confiscated? Is that any different than cell phones today?

Do teachers really have time or the desire to read what is in a student's phone?

Should a teacher be fired if their Facebook page shows a picture of them in an environment with alcohol? Say, a Buffett tailgate. [smilie=cheeky-grin.gif]

(insert 'noeyedear-shrugging' smilie here)

Re: How much is too much?

Posted: August 26, 2010 4:36 pm
by buffettbride
Big Phan wrote:I don't know the answers, but here's some stuff to ponder...

Should a teacher's personal home computer be considered public property if he/she accesses the school network via VPN?

Back in the day when students passed notes in class, did teachers read the notes they confiscated? Is that any different than cell phones today?

Do teachers really have time or the desire to read what is in a student's phone?

Should a teacher be fired if their Facebook page shows a picture of them in an environment with alcohol? Say, a Buffett tailgate. [smilie=cheeky-grin.gif]

(insert 'noeyedear-shrugging' smilie here)
I know for my job, anything I do on my computer while I'm connected to our VPN is subject to work guidelines. What I do when I'm not connected to the VPN is my own business.

Same goes for my cell phone. I purposely picked a phone that isn't compatible/approved with our corporate e-mail system because then my phone must be compliant with a whole world of stuff that I don't want to have to worry about.