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School System Considers Jamming Students' Phones 785

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the only-one-man-would-dare-give-me-the-raspberry dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The St. Ansgar, Iowa school system is considering buying cell-phone jamming equipment for up to $5000 if it is deemed legal. The use of the equipment would be suspended in the case of an emergency, but one has to wonder if they would be quick enough to shut it down should an emergency arise. 'A Federal Communications Commission notice issued in 2005 says the sale and use of transmitters that jam cellular or personal communications services is unlawful.'"
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School System Considers Jamming Students' Phones

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  • back in my day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loafula (1080631) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:32PM (#28900515)
    we didn't have cell phones. beepers were just starting to appear when i graduated high-school. we never had any problems alerting in the event of an emergency. we had fire alarms, PA system, and ye olde fashioned telephones in every classroom.
    • Oh yeah? That's nothing! Wait til Encino Man figures out how to type and then sign up on slashdot. Then he'll be telling you about how everyone used to accidentally light entire forests on fire to signal time for dinner, and tell long winded grunting stories about waiting around the cave fire for one of them to mutate and evolve.

    • Re:back in my day (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:45PM (#28900783)

      In my day, we didn't have emergencies in school. I graduated before Columbine. Back then if someone made you mad, you just beat the shit out of them instead of shooting up the whole school. I saw stuff like a jock stealing a nerd's backpack in the lunchroom, and then the nerd smacking the jock in the head with a metal chair repeatedly until he was down and taking back the backpack. The lunch monitor didn't even flinch. No one gave such fights a second thought; not teachers, not parents, and not students.

      • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:48PM (#28900829)
        I think you are having a flashback of WWF summerslam '88
      • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Roger W Moore (538166) on Friday July 31, 2009 @04:07PM (#28902217) Journal

        I graduated before Columbine.....the nerd smacking the jock in the head with a metal chair repeatedly until he was down....The lunch monitor didn't even flinch.

        Lessons learnt: you can get away with just about anything (e.g. beating someone around the head with a metal implement!!) if you think it is justified, if you are going to nick something make sure you leave the victim in no fit state to come after you and you can save money by sacking the "lunch monitors". All excellent preparation for entry into a civilized society.
        Makes you wonder how Columbine could possibly have happened doesn't it?

    • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gnick (1211984) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:47PM (#28900819) Homepage

      Still, this is a simple solution. Kids don't need cell-phones in class. If there's an emergency, the principal can inform the student involved. So, block cell-phones.

      However, active transmitters are illegal - And there are valid reasons for that. So use passive blockers. The cost is probably a little higher, but the result is the same. And you're not tangling with the FCC. Our local movie theater does it (although they built it in during construction, lowering the installation price).

      Heck, call installing chicken-wire a "make-work" program and you may get a chunk of the stimulus $$.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Maybe I don't know, the fact that they block things other than just cell phone signals might be an issue?

        Sheesh. People don't seem to understand that.

        Give it another 20 years and the social stigma of cellphones should go away and we should see less of shit like people complaining that a cellphone can be used anywhere, etc.

        It's currently about the same level as the people who say they want the government to keep their hands off of medicare (a conundrum in and of itself)

        • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Insightful)

          by loafula (1080631) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:55PM (#28900967)
          I don't think it's so much a social stigma as it is a distraction from the learning environment.
          • Re:back in my day (Score:4, Insightful)

            by X0563511 (793323) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:59PM (#28901041) Homepage Journal

            So are vocal chords, but we don't "block" those. We teach the kids how to use them properly in a learning environment, and punish them accordingly if they don't.

            ("Talk out of turn again, and you'll be here for detention")

            • by Clueless Moron (548336) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:25PM (#28901551)

              So are vocal chords

              Aw Christ... a chorus of crazy characters might use a corps of vocal cords to sing a chronicle of chromatic chords, but it's still spelled vocal "cords", not "chords".

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by camperdave (969942)
                A chord [wikipedia.org] is a line segment that crosses a circle, in much the same way that the vocal chords cross the larynx.
            • What would be the purpose of a cell phone in a learning environment where you are supposed to be listening to the teacher and interacting that way? Voices serve a purpose in the classroom. What purpose do cell phones serve?
          • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Informative)

            by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:18PM (#28901407)

            It's the texting that's the big issue. My wife teaches middle-school math, and she is constantly interrupting her classes to tell her students to put their not-allowed-on-campus phones away.

            30 years ago, it was passing notes in class. Now it's texting. 30 years from now it'll brain-melding in class or something...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Omestes (471991)

          Give it another 20 years and the social stigma of cellphones should go away and we should see less of shit like people complaining that a cellphone can be used anywhere, etc.

          I don't see it is a meaningless "social stigma". Using a cell-phone in a learning environment can be seen more as "causing a distraction". Most schools frown on you wearing headphones in class, or talking to your neighbors during inappropriate times, cellphones are no different. They are devices that make annoying noises at inappropr

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by dgatwood (11270)

            Actually, I would be a fan if theaters, libraries, and decent restaurants were allowed to have jammers.

            That's a terrible idea. What if the call coming in is "Your father just had a heart attack and we're rushing him to the hospital"? Not to mention the problem of being unable to call 911 in an emergency, the problem of first responders suddenly being unable to go to movies or restaurants, etc. There are very good reasons why jammers are illegal. They aren't the right solution. The right solution is to

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rtb61 (674572)

          Blocking cell phones is the issue. The government and in fact most governments around the world, defined those frequency spaces as being an asset that could be sold, and that asset passed through all spaces ie. a government mandated seizure of the active use of those frequencies within all spaces public and private.

          That sold clear access to that frequencies and the right to transmit into other peoples domains regardless of their preferences.

          So jamming that frequency within your premises means you are s

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Why doesn't anyone realize that they'd be banning teachers from using cell phones as well? I know not all teachers use cell phones, but a lot do, and I doubt they'd be amused that they're suddenly unable to use a cell phone during the portion of the day when the cell phone is most useful (i.e. when they're not at home).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by geekoid (135745)

          Workers can't use personal phones to do personal things instead of working.

          Somehow I'm not sad.

      • Re:back in my day (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:20PM (#28901433)

        Great!

        Your movie theater will burn to the ground when it catches fire because the FD will not enter a building where there are known radio problems.

        RF is a vital link, and thinking that cellphones are the only thing that uses the link is stupid at best.

        Just get the teachers to TAKE AWAY THE DAMNED PHONE if there's an issue.

        • Re:back in my day (Score:4, Insightful)

          by GigsVT (208848) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:42PM (#28901855) Journal

          the FD will not enter a building where there are known radio problems>

          Where did you get this "fact"?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mr. Freeman (933986)
        "If there's an emergency, the principal can inform the student involved." You don't understand the situation. We're not talking about emergency outside of school, we're talking about in-school emergencies. i.e. school shooting. This prevents students from calling out.

        Second, even if we are talking about out-of-school family emergencies, the principal has no right to know the situation.
    • by medv4380 (1604309)
      Not to bring up a nasty memory for everyone but didn't Columbine teach us the kids will cell phones can help in an emergency. The last thing someone needs is for someone to plan out some stupid massacre and cut the phone lines and keep the cell phone jammer going.
    • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by b4upoo (166390) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:09PM (#28901233)

      We also used suspensions and expulsions to deal with those that broke rules such as not bringing certain items onto school property.
                  But these days the kids have turned the table on us. Now dropping out is so common that schools can not regulate the children as the schools are under pressure to keep kids from dropping out.
                  In order to turn things around we need to get rid of the G.E.D. and let kids know that if they drop out they will live in poverty and follow that up by demonstrating that we are more than willing to toss kids out of school.
                  That may sound cruel but it could stop the current loss of lives and futures that now are consequences of a broken educational system.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TooMuchToDo (882796)
        Slow down there chief. I myself got a GED because high school was a waste of my time (dropped out after junior year). Now I'm 26 (going on 27) and am already worth enough to never have to work another day in my life (sold my company; started another one, etc). Attending high school/college doesn't guarantee success any more than dropping out guarantees failure. Some people will just work hard to succeed while other just don't give a fuck. Getting rid of GEDs isn't going to change that one bit.
        • Re:back in my day (Score:4, Interesting)

          by EdIII (1114411) * on Friday July 31, 2009 @04:10PM (#28902257)

          In all fairness, you probably represent far less than 1% off all outcomes of students that drop out. Yeah, I know a guy too that dropped out as a freshman in high school, bought a fake ID (in his name with an older age), got a G.E.D, and then attended community college. Very bright and successful guy. He just could not put up with the bullshit in high school and wanted to go straight to the more advanced stuff. That and college girls put out.

          You are the SECOND person in my whole life that sounds like a success story of a dropout with a G.E.D. I have been forced to interact with far more people with a G.E.D, that are quite frankly, making tremendous achievements just tying their shoes in the morning.

          So, although I will agree with you that dropping out does not guarantee failure, it has a much higher likelihood of failure than you seem to be indicating.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You're implying poverty is a deterrent. Most of these kids already live in so-called poverty and know nothing else. Live off the state and drift from low paying job to low paying job while spawning several offspring? That's all they've ever known and they'll continue the pattern anyway. I do think the GED requirements should be tougher, one test that can easily be passed in less than an hour is not enough.
    • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Interesting)

      by QuantumRiff (120817) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:11PM (#28901265)

      You have no idea the growing levitation power of the new, modern, helicopter parent. They would scream if you even thought of proposing that maybe, just maybe, the kids should leave the burning building BEFORE calling them. (So they can immediately schedule a meeting with the principal and teacher about the lack of fireproofing in the school, and how it affects their childs chances of getting into a good college) For once, think of the parents, not the children. If they can't reach/see their children every minute of every day, then obviously, child molesters are trying to kidnap them...

      the last few years, I have started feeling very, very sorry for teachers..

      • Re:back in my day (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Londovir (705740) on Friday July 31, 2009 @07:38PM (#28904395)

        You are partially joking in your response, but you are more correct than, perhaps, you even realize.

        I've been a public school teacher at a high school for 4 years now, and to be honest, cell phones are an utter nightmare. The cheating of students using texting to get answers is rampant, well beyond anything that, as teachers, we were never warned about. Students have become masters of texting "under the table", and it has gotten bad enough that I now feel the need to make 12 different versions of a test for the 6 classes I teach a day - versions A and B for each period. I know that if I don't, by the end of 1st period, all of my students in periods 2-7 will have the questions (and answers) by the time I get to them. The "rookie" teachers who haven't learned that realize it awfully quick when the grade distributions go steeply upwards by the end of the day. Even then, with the prevalence of iPhones and Blackberry phones, cheating is becoming even more widespread since students can easily websurf to the answers for test questions. I have to hawk around my room constantly looking for phones under desks. It's amazing.

        As a county, we've tried everything to penalize the use of cell phones, to no avail. We've tried detentions (students never serve them), we've tried suspensions ("Oh, a day that I don't have to go to school, great!"), no deterrents worked.

        Then we tried getting "tougher". We tried to take the cell phone away from the student until the end of the school day. That lasted about 2 weeks, until we were told we couldn't do that any longer because a parent decided to get a jazzy lawyer and sue the district. They, apparently, were convinced that we were endangering their student by taking away their ability to call for help in an emergency. Rather than fight it out in court (and risk losing, as these things tend to go), the county settled and changed the policy. Now, supposedly, the plan is to confiscate the battery, but let the student keep the phone. Of course, students now carry spare batteries, so it doesn't matter.

        We were the school a few years back that had the lockdown that made CNN news, when a deputy sheriff and his police dog were both shot and killed less than 2000 feet from our school. It was a massive manhunt that made national news. We were locked down for about 9 hours, with about (literally) 200 police with assault rifles and body armor, with armored vehicles, and eventually they bussed us out of the school under very heavy armed guard. During that time, the cell phones became a fiasco. Every student with a phone was calling their parents, and every parent was coming to the school to try and get their darling children out, despite the reality that a gunman with 2 automatics who had already killed a cop was anywhere around. The police were stretched thin trying to keep the roadblocks up to keep the idiot parents away. Insanity.

        It gets worse then that, of course. I've had cases where I pass back a test at 8am to a 2nd period class, and I get an email from our secretary at 8:30am saying that the students parent called and wants to talk to me about the grade their daughter got on the test. Last year the newest craze was students getting "disposable" cell phones and using them to call in bomb threats to the school. Of course, any time a threat comes in you have to go through the evacuation drill, just in case, and according to our resource officer it can be difficult for them to trace the "disposable" cell phones. Plus, as before, any time some drill does come in, it's only a matter for 15 minutes before a bunch of parents show up ready to check their kids out of school.

        I couldn't be happier as a teacher than if they blocked every last cell phone on campus. I don't have a phone in my classroom (very few of us in our high school have one in the room), but we each have intercoms we can use to reach the main office, and we had no communication problems during the dangerous lockdown. I don't need to use a cell phone during the school day, at least not once in the 4 years I've been there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      we didn't have cell phones. beepers were just starting to appear when i graduated high-school. we never had any problems alerting in the event of an emergency. we had fire alarms, PA system, and ye olde fashioned telephones in every classroom.

      Me too, but to be fair, by the time we got to high school, over 70% of my classmates had been killed by fires, cholera, and indian raids. Cell phones would have really helped alert us as to the dangers so we could circle the wagons.

  • Just use the structures themselves and make them like a Wal*Mart or Home Depot. I never get signal in those stores!
    • Yeah, just use materials that absorb cellular wavelengths and there's gotta be special coatings you can put on the windows.
  • If it's legal? (Score:4, Informative)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:33PM (#28900523) Journal

    I'll help them:

    It isn't.

    • What if.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RingDev (879105) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:00PM (#28901053) Homepage Journal

      What if instead of jamming phones, the school put up their own cell antena. They could work with the other local providers to tweek the handoff rules such that phones in side the school are significantly more likely to stay on the school's tower.

      Once you have all of those phones on the school's tower it would be simple to shut down texting and internet access while still allowing access to 911 and emergency numbers listed in the student's records.

      Sure, it'll cost more than $5000 to get up and maintain, but it is much more likely to pass muster.

      Personally though, I'm all for the confiscate and return rule. It's cheaper AND it reinforces lessons in personal responsibility.

      -Rick

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jeffmeden (135043)
        Considering there are "network extenders" that act like short range cellphone towers but cost only $250 or so per unit, I would venture that your 'interactive jamming' plan, successfully executed, could be at or below the $5000 mark depending on the size of the school. Of course, then you have to convince the cell providers to go along with your scheme to restrict calling during the precious hours of 6am to 9pm inside of which they make 99% of their money.

        Good luck with that.
  • by anomnomnomymous (1321267) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:33PM (#28900533)
    But what happened to good ol' telling them not to use their mobiles, and if they -do- use it, apply punishment?
    I obviously didn't RTA, but what a waste of money... (if not the possible consequences)
    • by oahazmatt (868057) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:40PM (#28900705) Journal

      But what happened to good ol' telling them not to use their mobiles, and if they -do- use it, apply punishment?

      A crapload of lawsuits against the schools happened.

      When I was a senior in high school, a student started physically assaulting one of the teachers. The teacher didn't fight back because he had been instructed, as the entire faculty had been, to not do so as the school would face a lawsuit if a teacher injured a student.

      I noticed that as I went from Kindergarten to a Senior in High School the teachers seemed to become less aggressive. They no longer bellowed "sit down and do your work" but asked you politely to "stay on task, everyone".

      I was glad I got out before things became any more passive-aggressive.

      • by cawpin (875453) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:16PM (#28901365)
        When exactly were you a senior? A student assaulting a teacher is illegal. The teacher defending themself is legal. This has been ruled on many places. I know that doesn't stop lawsuits from happening, but it sure as hell would stop them from succeeding most of the time.
      • by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:20PM (#28901439)
        Sadly this results in teacher's just completely snapping. Most of the time it results in them crying or shouting but it has potential to get much worse.

        There was a recent incident in here in the UK where a teacher had come back to school after recovering from a stroke and wasn't quite back to normal. The kids noticed this and in the class they started singing "I'm looking at the psycho in the mirror" (to the tune of the similarly named MJ song). He demanded they stop, the lead kid swore at him in return.

        What happened then? The teacher bashed the student over the head with a metal weight, dragged the student into a supply room where he almost beat the student to death before he was dragged off by a load of students.

        The surprising thing was the reaction. There was very little pity for the student in question and huge amounts of support for the teacher (who's now on attempted murder charges).
      • by chrb (1083577) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:32PM (#28901693)

        A crapload of lawsuits against the schools happened.

        Citation? A friend of mine is a teacher, he says a phone ringing in class is very common these days, some of the kids even do it deliberately to look cool. He is allowed to (and does) confiscate the phones. He usually returns it at the end of the lesson, or if it's a repeat offender or some kid being smart at the end of the day. No phone for a day = not cool. The kids quickly learn to turn them off.

        Of course, it is possible that in some countries confiscating phones is actually not allowed...

  • Unlawful, probably (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ultraexactzz (546422) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:36PM (#28900589) Journal
    In most places, and correct me if I'm wrong, but no one can impede the function of a cellphone when it is calling emergency services. Hell, a 10-year-old cellphone with no service provider still has to be able to connect to 911 - many cities solicit old phones for use by women in domestic violence shelters as emergency phones for just this reason. If the jamming can be rigged to let 911 calls through, then this might be legal from that standpoint.

    Whether the FCC allows such things overall, though, is quite another issue.
  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:36PM (#28900591) Homepage

    In before completely unrealistic, hypothetical scenario involving an off-work doctor who is out on his unicycle, when someone gets their second cellphone stuck in their throat, and would have been saved if it hadn't been for the phone-jamming equipment in operation at a nearby school.

    • In before completely unrealistic, hypothetical scenario involving an off-work doctor who is out on his unicycle, when someone gets their second cellphone stuck in their throat, and would have been saved if it hadn't been for the phone-jamming equipment in operation at a nearby school.

      That's pretty far-fetched. A doctor having his phone on when he's off-work? How realistic is that?

  • Jam? (Score:5, Funny)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:36PM (#28900593) Journal

    What kind? Blackberry?

  • It'll take a failed emergency call to get the school sued...
    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      Or forgetting to turn it off during parent orientation or teacher conferences with one too many lawyer parents present.
  • It's unfortunate that teachers have ceased to be considered authority figures.

    Why should they muck around with jamming when they can just confiscate the phones when they are being used in violation of school policy and then returned at the end of the day, as has been done for countless other disruptive devices (before the wussification of America and the rise of the helicopter parent)?

    • by SomeJoel (1061138)

      before the wussification of America

      We used to call it pussification. Looks like they got to you, too.

    • Re:Authority Figures (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BlowHole666 (1152399) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:53PM (#28900939)
      Because mommy and daddy will take little Timmy's side on everything. So they will take the school to court because a teach took Timmy's phone away because he was playing with it in class.

      Students know that the teacher can not do anything to them, and that in some cases the parents don't care if they misbehave in school, or misbehave at all. So they do not respect authority figures.

      It is one think to not respect authority when your rights are being violated, it is another thing to not respect authority when other people around you are trying to learn.
  • Whatever happened with the classic scenario of the teacher saying: "If you don't put away that fucking cell phone during class, I'll confiscate it and you can get it after school again!" ??

    These people obviously fail to see that social problems can't be solved with technology. They can be solved with education. (Ask a school, oh wait..).

    And yes, it's illegal too..

  • by Radi-0-head (261712) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:40PM (#28900691)

    First off - yes, this is very illegal which is why you don't see the use of active jamming equipment in the US. If they want to instead build a Faraday cage around the entire campus, this would be the "legal" - though prohibitively expensive - way of getting around the issue.

    If in fact they attempt this, and staff or a student have a bona-fide medical emergency and are unable to summon emergency services, this district will then be tasked for paying for a home nurse to wipe the drool off of said victim's face for the rest of their lives.

    You would think those who work in education would, you know, educate themselves on the relevant laws and ramifications of actions... nahhh, this is the US public school system we're talking about here.

  • by Ericular (876826) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:40PM (#28900703)

    If the phone is seen or heard anytime during school hours, it's taken away, and the parent can come claim it. Parents will get sick of having to do that pretty quick, and the students will learn what happens if they use them during school. In our school district, each school can make the specific rules regarding cell phones, and this is generally how they handle the issue. The best part is, the policy is free to implement and only affects a small minority of phones (the offenders) in an emergency situation.

       

  • How about actually -allowing- them and designing the curriculum around them? There are some things you can't fit in a text message, essays, critical thinking, etc. And those are the real skills that will actually matter. Similarly, in the real world, you do have access to the internet and any and all reference materials. The school system seems to be designed for 1950s level technology and advancement. Not 2009 which we live in. Collaboration, research and technology are a real part of the world. Contrary t
  • Of course that can cost millions of dollars for a school building. But I heard of a theater that put one in while it was constructing the building (it's a lot cheaper then).

  • If you can't do it in prisons where phones are illegal to start with, what makes you possibly think that you could do it in a school, no matter how well justified the reasons for it may be?
  • by Helix150 (177049) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:47PM (#28900825)

    Jamming cell phones is a slippery slope and I think we (as a society) would be just as well off to put a stop to this right here.

    There is of course the fact that jamming a cell phone for almost any reason is quite illegal. But let's set that aside.

    As has often been mentioned- the idea that the jammer would be shut off in an emergency is absurd. If there's a 'big' emergency nobody will remember to turn it off (assuming anybody knows how to), and for 'little' emergencies (as someone else said, girl getting raped in the locker room) this would create a serious problem. Plus which a jammer, being an RF emitter, doesn't immediately stop jamming when you walk thru the school doors. It will either be overpowered, and reduce or degrade service around the school, or underpowered leading to kids just sitting next to the window so their phones will work.

    These problems arise anytime you talk about cell phone jamming, and there is no solution. Cell networks are encrypted, so you can't block only non-emergency calls. And no carrier is going to be the first one to step up and help block their customers, it's just not in anybody's best interest.

    This is a societal problem, not a technical one, and it requires a societal fix. If people are yakking on their phone in the movie theater, the solution isn't a jammer, the solution is to get people to not be rude assholes.
    As for the school, if they can't get kids to pay attention in class maybe the problem is that their lesson plan is boring and the teacher couldn't care less if the kids are interested or not. Or perhaps their problem is that the faculty doesn't demand student respect, so students ignore the rules.

    As a previous poster said- just take away the phone or battery of any kid that is using it in class and give it back to him at the end of the day. If he does it again make his parent come in and get it.

    Put simply, this school has a discipline problem and needs better teachers or better administration. It does not have a technical problem, so a technical solution won't help them.

  • For each violation a teacher can decide whether to let it slide or dismiss the student from the classroom. Miss enough classes and you fail the class. In college there is more leniency with letting you step out and take a call, but otherwise professors will still kick you out if you're disruptive or blatantly don't pay attention. Jamming the phones now just means professors have to play daycare more when the students haven't learned how to turn the things off.

    I guess I sound somewhat "get off my lawn"-is
  • not jamming, but traffic shaping

    something dramatically different than technologically that simply fills an rf frequency with white noise or pink noise. it could simply monitor all calls for geolocation by triangulation or gps and time code, overlaid with blueprints. geographically and temporally refined: let it be used outside, but not inside, 2 meters away, along a straight line. allow a phone to be used during lunch time in the cafeteria, but then not during study hall an hour later, all the while the lib

  • 1: It's illegal
    2: What's to stop kiddies from skyping, iming, etc. over wifi?

  • Not so bad (Score:4, Funny)

    by atomic_bomberman (1602061) on Friday July 31, 2009 @02:53PM (#28900933)
    When I was in high school, rock music and dancing were illegal. We couldn't even dance at prom. That is, until Kevin Bacon moved to our town.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday July 31, 2009 @03:04PM (#28901145) Homepage

    All they need are the usual restrictions for movie theaters. Tell students that carrying a cell phone is fine, but ringing has to be off while in class, and texting in class is a no-no. That's enough to keep cell phones from interfering with the school's educational mission. Beyond that, as a Government body, the school has no business interfering.

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