LA schools to get cell phone barriers

GrayHare

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Saw a TV interview with a high school teacher who was happy that Los Angeles County is going to install "physical barriers" to cell phone use by students. As I wondered what sort of physical barrier would be practical, she repeated that phrase a few times but never explained it. Since she did not anticipate that listeners would be puzzled, I was left thinking she must not be a very good teacher. I can't imagine LA putting Faraday cages around all the schools. LA schools might already have metal detectors, so that's probably not the new physical barrier. Any idea what will be implemented?
 
She could be talking about this:

Options to carry out the ban under consideration include providing cellphone lockers or pouches that keep devices locked up and inaccessible until they’re tapped against a magnetic device when exiting campus. Technology also could be used to block access to social media platforms.

LAUSD approves cellphone ban as Newsom calls for statewide action
 
It is simple. You do the same thing that the courts do. You forbid their use inside the classroom during class hours the same way they are forbidden in a court room when court is in session. You setup a punishment system for violators. Repeat violators will need to be dealt with. Setting up a Faraday cage or RF shielding is problematic as is confiscating them. Just make a rule, all cellphones powered off and on top of desks or in some obvious place where they can be seen. Ditto for smart watches.

This is not rocket science.
 
Agree, except the teacher said she already did such bans, hence the welcoming of "physical barriers."
 
The problem is that if there is an active shooting situation in schools, the kids can't even call their parents or law enforcement.
 
It is simple. You do the same thing that the courts do. You forbid their use inside the classroom during class hours the same way they are forbidden in a court room when court is in session. You setup a punishment system for violators. Repeat violators will need to be dealt with. Setting up a Faraday cage or RF shielding is problematic as is confiscating them. Just make a rule, all cellphones powered off and on top of desks or in some obvious place where they can be seen. Ditto for smart watches.

This is not rocket science.
It's really not that simple and schools do not have the authority of courts.

I'd also point out that on 9/11 many kids had their last contact with their parent by an illicit phone call or text message.
 
I have no problem banning cell phones in schools. But I would be absolutely opposed to any kind of jamming or blocking. Kids need access to their phones in an emergency. School shootings and other emergencies are far too common.
 
I read a piece last week about how many schools require the kids to put their phone in a special pouch that can only be unlocked by a teacher at the end of the school day.
The article went on to show how many kids are able to defeat the system in various ways.
 
I really don't have any issue with banning cell phones in schools, courts, etc. But I think "physical barriers" or anything else that prevents their use in an emergency is going too far. I used to be an adjunct professor at a community college. The librarians wanted to install jammers to prevent cell phone calls. They found out it was against MANY federal laws. The FCC, FAA, and other agencies have serious rules against signals used to disrupt lawful signals. Jamming a 5G signal could disrupt air traffic control and landing/radar systems on commercial aircraft. I don't think any kind of school administrators will be allowed to disrupt cell signals.

And that notwithstanding, how are students to log in to their school accounts with 2FA if calls and texts are blocked?
 
She could be talking about this:

Options to carry out the ban under consideration include providing cellphone lockers or pouches that keep devices locked up and inaccessible until they’re tapped against a magnetic device when exiting campus. Technology also could be used to block access to social media platforms.

LAUSD approves cellphone ban as Newsom calls for statewide action
They can easily block access to social media while connected through school networks. They can't interfere with cellular networks without federal authority, and maybe not even then since the carriers' licenses are pretty broad and even exclude interference from federal agencies like the FAA, hence the haggling over 5G recently.

I see no reason why schools can't ban cell phone use but I'm sure that will not be effective. Can you imagine the damages and criminal charges the first time student could have called 911 but is blocked?
 
Board President Jackie Goldberg, who co-sponsored the resolution, recounted a recent visit to a high school where she sat down with students sitting together at a table during lunch.

“I thought we could have a chance just to informally talk,” Goldberg recounted. “All of them took out their cellphones.”

That was only the first surprise.

“I thought they were contacting other people,” Goldberg said. “They were talking to each other on their cellphones, rather than with their voices and their mouths. ... This is an addiction that is serious.”

Or maybe Jackie Goldberg is just plain boring...
 
The problem is that if there is an active shooting situation in schools, the kids can't even call their parents or law enforcement.
Maybe the school authorities should be the ones to alert law enforcement anyway. And they already have automation to alert parents.

They can easily block access to social media while connected through school networks.
LOL! They can block social media domains, but the kids would work around that in 5 minutes.

Letting kids keep their phone, but in a faraday cage, seems like a pretty good solution. It could be a "smart cage" that could be opened in an emergency, and immediately report which student opened their cage. Applying consequences for non-emergency use could then be streamlined. Just having Miss Crabapple argue with Nelson whether he was peeking at his phone is a collosal waste of time and doomed to fail. Make the student write a paragraph about what the emergency was. No paragraph, or BS, and they get a demerit, or whatever. Some quantity of those and the standard punishments go into effect.
 
Maybe the school authorities should be the ones to alert law enforcement anyway. And they already have automation to alert parents.

LOL! They can block social media domains, but the kids would work around that in 5 minutes.

Letting kids keep their phone, but in a faraday cage, seems like a pretty good solution. It could be a "smart cage" that could be opened in an emergency, and immediately report which student opened their cage. Applying consequences for non-emergency use could then be streamlined. Just having Miss Crabapple argue with Nelson whether he was peeking at his phone is a collosal waste of time and doomed to fail. Make the student write a paragraph about what the emergency was. No paragraph, or BS, and they get a demerit, or whatever. Some quantity of those and the standard punishments go into effect.
But that would be expensive and difficult to implement.

Better that you let the students who want to diddle on their phones all day do poorly in class, and deal with the consequences. Or take them on a case by case basis, like they did with whatever we used to bring to class in the last century.

And yes the idea that in this country we are going to simultaneously have schools doing active shooter drills but take away phones is a bit stupid.
 
Bottom line:
Phones need to be removed from student possession in classrooms.
Teachers can't be expected to "police" phone use in their classroom -futile. The resulting combat, "1 strike, 2 strike" etc would be a distraction and huge waste of time better spent educating.
Any solution keeping phones in the hands of students dooms education in America.

Posters with no direct knowledge, or access to educators with direct knowledge, regarding the impact of cell phones in our schools should seek that knowledge. This is a crisis -phones are toxic to education.

A relative is a teacher in a "respected" suburban HS. Cell phones are a major distraction contributing to a great decline in student performance over the past several years.

Regarding reporting "shooter" scenarios: teachers/admin have phones, therefore there is questionable benefit to every student in the classroom also needing a phone in these scenarios.
Regarding "I need 24/7 communication w/my child": Call the school office for an emergency -the message will get to your child within what was considered a reasonable timeline before "instant gratification".

If parents insisting on 24/7 cell phones for their students win the debate, that would be unfortunate and doom an important cornerstone to improving the dismal and declining performance in our schools.
 
Better that you let the students who want to diddle on their phones all day do poorly in class, and deal with the consequences. Or take them on a case by case basis, like they did with whatever we used to bring to class in the last century

Putting the responsibility in the hands of the student is a way to spread out the grades, which might be viewed as a good thing; those that wouldn't pass the marshmallow test will flunk-out of high school and those with self-control will make-up a smaller pool of students vying for college slots. I'm pretty sure that's not going to maximize well being of humanity as a whole, though, because the ones that don't make it will probably be succeeding in other pursuits, such as crime, and maybe even violent crime. Or maybe just never move out of mom's basement. Who knows. Education makes for a better society, I'm told, so less of it? Probably not good.

BTW, My wife's cell number was part of my HS kids' profile, and she regularly got SMS from the (public) school. And this was back in 2007-2011, so I thought "everybody" had that...probably not though, now that I think about it. Not that our county was "rich" but it was a suburban school. Inner city schools might not have had the resources to implement something like that.
 
Maybe the school authorities should be the ones to alert law enforcement anyway. And they already have automation to alert parents.

LOL! They can block social media domains, but the kids would work around that in 5 minutes.
I disagree. Waiting for an administrator to make a decision could be deadly. My partner is a teacher and their school's policy was to alert an administrator first. Teachers agreed this was not going to happen. After decades and several 911 calls by teachers and students (never for a shooting) no one was ever challenged for violating that policy.

In some places discouraging someone from calling 911 could be a crime in itself.
 
Maybe the school authorities should be the ones to alert law enforcement anyway. And they already have automation to alert parents.

LOL! They can block social media domains, but the kids would work around that in 5 minutes.

Letting kids keep their phone, but in a faraday cage, seems like a pretty good solution. It could be a "smart cage" that could be opened in an emergency, and immediately report which student opened their cage. Applying consequences for non-emergency use could then be streamlined. Just having Miss Crabapple argue with Nelson whether he was peeking at his phone is a collosal waste of time and doomed to fail. Make the student write a paragraph about what the emergency was. No paragraph, or BS, and they get a demerit, or whatever. Some quantity of those and the standard punishments go into effect.
So in the event of a shooting or other emergency you want to create a "bait station" for students to go to? Really?

I have no problem with banning routine cell use with draconian penalties. But physical barriers are potentionly deadly and I hope those that enact such barriers face serious criminal penalties if anything ever happens.
 
Since I don't know what a bait station is, I'm not sure I proposed such a thing. How did we manage before every kid had a radio in their pocket? I suppose they shouted "there's a nut case in room 222 with a gun!" and whatever plan they had went into effect, like maybe making a PA announcement (what a concept!)

What I DID propose was a smart faraday cage that would tattle on students who used their phone in a non-emergency. That allows emergency communication but prevents diddling with phones when they should be learning. Some company might make a fortune on a tattling faraday cage. We all know how cheap WiFi hardware is, which is how the device could report that the cage was opened. And you wouldn't need to budget to issue one to every student, only those that have been caught using their phone.
 
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