Student Suspended For Mother's Phone Call From Iraq

from the how-nice dept

There’s a big trend these days to completely ban mobile phones in schools, or to suspend students who use the phones in ways that seem appropriate. The latest such example is a student who has been suspended for taking a phone call from his mother — who is stationed in Iraq. He did so during lunch time, not during a class. However, the school’s rules prohibit using phones during school hours, so a teacher told him to stop. The student apparently became upset, and the school is defending its actions by saying they didn’t necessarily suspend him for taking a phone call, but for the way he responded to the teacher who told him to hang up the phone. Of course, if it weren’t for the teacher telling him to hang up, he wouldn’t have become so angry. Either way, this seems like a case where letting the student take the phone call, and letting the matter go would have made a lot more sense.

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Comments on “Student Suspended For Mother's Phone Call From Iraq”

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Lucas says:

The overreaction award goes to... this kid's schoo

It seems that in most situations, a set of policies (whether it’s for school, government, or whatever), should provide guidelines for behaviour. It seems too often that the enforcement of policies supersedes all reason.

Can’t the school chalk this up to a simple misunderstanding (and given the unusual and understandable circumstances on the kid’s part), just let him finish his year? It’s a cell phone for God’s sake.

Michael De Muth says:

It?s called consequences for ones actions

And life is full of them. The policies about cell phone use were known. The policies for being defiant and disorderly were known. That the teacher is in charge was known. The kid decided that it just didn?t apply to him. Now he knows otherwise.

Is the punishment a little on the harsh side? Yes, it is. Would it be nice for the school to cut him some slack? Yes, it would be. But it must be kept in the forefront of the discussion that what the kid did was wrong, and while there are extenuating circumstances, it is not an excuse.

And don?t even get me started with ?if it weren’t for the teacher??. Please. ?If the cops would just stop pulling me over for speeding, I wouldn?t need to scream at them for giving me another ticket.? They are doing their jobs, just like the teacher was. That is what we pay them to do.

TeeKay says:

Re: It?s called consequences for ones actions

What this guy wrote is complete horseshit.

Teachers have ALWAYS been power junkies – however with the advant of mobile technology, they are more and more being held accountable for their actions. This policy is also a bunch of garbage. Imposing a “martial law” that does not allow calls to be taken is just another power-trip to make sure the kids are in control. Now that teacher is lucky I wasn’t that kid ~LOL~ I would have punched the living shit out of ’em.

Michael De Muth says:

Re: Re: And I would like to thank you

for showing us all why we have zero-tolerance rules at schools. And why, as the article pointed out, there are times the students are arrested and not just marched to the office. A few rotten apples (violent ones at that) have brought it done on all.
Are teachers ?power junkies?? Some are, some are not. It is the same with cops, executives, managers, or anyone else in a position of authority. However, to many high-school students, the perception is there and nothing will change it.
And yet, this is of no consequence. The teacher is in charge. And the students, while they can certainly file a complaint later, are bound to follow their instructions.

Daranthalis says:

Re: Re: Re: And I would like to thank you

“They are doing their jobs, just like the teacher was. That is what we pay them to do.”

Actually, we pay teachers to do something called ‘teach’. It’s where the person hired to ‘teach’ explains things to people who don’t yet understand them. A teacher trolling the cafeteria looking for cell phones isn’t teaching, and isn’t doing what I damn well pay him or her to do.

Michael De Muth says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And I would like to thank you

Actually, we pay teachers to do a lot more then teach. Supervising the cafeteria, namely making sure that students are where they are supposed to be, monitoring behavior and the like, is hardly ‘trolling the cafeteria’. It’s part of the job.

I would also like to point out that if your kid got punched in the mouth during an altercation at lunch, you?d be right there to sue the teacher for not maintaining control. I know I would be. But you can’t have it both ways. Either teachers are in charge, and have the authority to maintain discipline, or you should just dump your kids off at the park for the day.
I?m not saying it is all one sided. A teacher is not God, and not always going to be right. There should be ways to raise complaints against a teacher, to discipline teachers who overstep the bounds. That, however, is an after the fact thing. If an Officer arrests me for what I think is an irrelevant reason, resisting arrest is still illegal.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: Re:4 And I would like to thank you

He was giving an example…no one said that punching a kid in the mouth was the same.

Seriously, teachers have a tough job, they educate the spoiled spawn of people who 90% of the time SHOULD NOT BREED.

If you think school is indoctrination its because of idiot parents who treat the school as a babysitter, who BELIEVE their kids are angels and refuse to take any responsibility for their upbringing…yet will be the first to scream when the kid is victimized or can’t read.

We’ve gone way too far in the worship of our kids and we’ve now got a generation that’s rapidly out of control. Courtesy and respect which is in VERY short supply these days in generation X is totally absent in the “me me ME” generation.

THAT, my friend is why you think school is indoctrination, THAT is why they end up being run like prison camps, because of the way our kids (and their parents) act.

PB says:

Re: Re: Re:2 And I would like to thank you

Daranthalis stated: “
Actually, we pay teachers to do something called ‘teach’. It’s where the person hired to ‘teach’ explains things to people who don’t yet understand them. A teacher trolling the cafeteria looking for cell phones isn’t teaching, and isn’t doing what I damn well pay him or her to do.”

No offense meant but the statement above is clueless.

We pay teachers to do the job as outlined by the local schoolboards policies, and lately that would seem to mean doing anything other then teaching.

I am sure there was a policy in place. I am sure the teacher was assigned to monitor the lunchroom. As I am equally sure that had a supervisor come past, seen the cellphone in use, and taken note that the teacher had done nothing about it, chastized said teacher for failing to perform his/her duties.

In these days when schools have replaced parents who have abdicated their parental chores and teachers and cops act in loco parentis to try and fill the gaps, this doesn’t surprise me much at all.

Its sad actually.

thecaptain says:

Re: Re: It?s called consequences for ones actions

Wahh wahhh wahh…
you sound like a 14 yo who’s pissed because authority figures won’t let him run around and be an ass all day.

Face it, while most kids are generally ok, some run amok. That requires rules, so basically the jerks ruin it for the rest.

Now that there are rules, there’s always a subset of the jerks around that I like to call rule-lawyers. They always think shit doesn’t apply to them and they push and they push…then when they are caught and called on it, they whine JUST LIKE YOU.

Waaaaah wahhhh teachers are power junkies, wahhh wahhh all cops are corrupt because they arrested me when I swore at them…waaaah wahhhh where’s my welfare check?

Grow up.

anonymoose cow-ard says:

Re: Re: Re: CNN has a much better article on this...

Parham said the teen’s suspension was based on his reaction to the teacher’s request. He said the teen used profanity when taken to the office.

“Kevin got defiant and disorderly,” Parham said. “When a kid becomes out of control like that they can either be arrested or suspended for 10 days. Now being that his mother is in Iraq, we’re not trying to cause her any undue hardship; he was suspended for 10 days.”

mamoo says:

Re: Re: Re:2 CNN has a much better article on this...

Thats the whole point here – the kid was NOT suspended for having the phone. He WAS suspended for the way he reacted when caught with the phone during times which it was meant to be (at least) turned off. The school has rules which he chose to ignore, he knew the risk he was running by doing this and getting abusive about it does nothing to help the matter. He deserves what he gets if you ask me. Has he just accepted the he was to be punished in the first place there wouldnt be such a big deal.

PB says:

Re: Re: It?s called consequences for ones actions

TeeKay said:”Now that teacher is lucky I wasn’t that kid ~LOL~ I would have punched the living shit out of ’em.”

And had you been the student and done something that stupidly heinous I, or someone like me, would have been very happy to respond to the school, place you in handcuffs, and take you to the local precinct to book you for assault. [and if 16 or over, press as hard as I could to have you prosecuted as an adult]

Jon Wolff says:

Banning Cellphones

I have noticed this trend as well. At my highschool for the first year cell-phones became widely used they tried to ban the use of them and threatened to take any students cell phone they saw them using. They caught on rather quickly and changed their policy to no cell phone use during instruction. They realized this “problem” was not going to go away so they decided to allow the use of the phones during lunch and passing periods.

Boilerbob says:

Zero tolerance

This is my objection to all the zero tolerance rules and laws that are so popular today. Yes the kid violated a rule but many people might do the same in his shoes. The punishment just doesn’t fit the crime. My favorite quote is “we didn’t have him arrested in cause of his mother being in Iraq we didn’t want any undue hardship”. That’s pretty nice of them.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Something is wrong with this. A school is supposed to teach and prepare students for real life, but it never does, and this ‘cell phone policy’ is a prime example of that.
I mean, banned because students use them to cheat on tests? Have they never heard of people using technology to get ahead? Reminds me of when I was in school and calculators were banned (instead of teaching you to use them better). It’s no surprise that some of the most successfull people never finished school, with all that lack of encouragement to use new things…

thecaptain says:

Re: No Subject Given

Then I SINCERELY hope you don’t teach your kids yourself. They won’t be good for anything but welfare since they won’t have the skills to run a cash register…

Calculators are a crutch. The mind is a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. If a kid from day one uses a calculator for math, he’ll be an adult who can’t do basic multiplication…if tests are always open book, he’ll never internalize and be able to apply information given….

YES, they should be taught to use technology for their advantage…but that’s a far cry to letting them cheat on tests with cellphones, calculators and computers…c’mon. You can’t be that stupid…or maybe you were allowed calculators since grade four and open book tests til you graduated?

Michael Vilain says:

Why was the cell phone even turned on during schoo

What would have happened if the kid had motioned the teacher over, interrupted the conversation and said “Mom, would you talk to my teacher?” and handed the phone to the teacher. If the teacher just hung it up, without even talking to the mom, then there might be grounds for discussions in the VP’s office with the VP and the teacher.

The VP tried to propose a schedule where his mom could call him and it wouldn’t be a problem. But the kid mouthed off and got all abusive which changed the whole situation.

What cop is going to give you a pass on a ticket if you’re an asshole? 10 days suspension seems excessive, but in the long run, cheap, for this life lesson in controlling your temper.

If students are allowed to have cell phones to use them “to coordinate with parents after school”, why did this kid even have it turned on?

jackiebarnard says:

suspension of student for taking mother's call

We need to write the school hundreds, thousands,millions of letters telling them how dispicable their actions were. What if that mother never gets to speak to her son again and a parent’s directive is to be “obeyed” before a teacher’s; otherwise the school system is teaching the kids to disrespect their parents and that teachers rule. That teacher should be fired. Does anyone have the e-mail address of the school board? and/or the school. everyone needs to write them instead of editorials to each other.

Three Men In A Boat says:

Student Suspended For Mother's Phone Call From

The lesson here is that everyday life can lead you into situations where rules need to be bent, and it’s the job of grown-up humans to be sensitive to that. The student could’ve anticipated the issue and used the procedures already in place at the school to avoid the problem. But the teacher also has the responsibility to use adult judgment… in this case, attempting to grab the phone from the student was irresponsible as well.

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