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Houston School Sued for Searching Kid's Cell Phone

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posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:42 PM
I don't know that parents/guardians have an understanding for how prevalent the problem contributes to distractions in the classroom. Students are on phones all day long, texting, playing games, whatever. Throw in huge schools, overpopulation and all the other issues attributed to poorly run school systems and one might understand why this is a "fight" that the schools aren't going to win. The reality is that teachers cannot police this in the classrooms and TEACH as well as they should, at the same time.

Going "back in time" to a place where phones, ipods, laptops, et al. did not exist or were few and far between and strictly monitored is not going to happen, we're beyond that... these electronics are integrated into everyday life. Many people (adults) can't function without them... do you see why it's not hard to teach that reliance to their kids?

ETA: Just to be very clear, I'm not advocating a system wide ban on phones and electronics at the schools and would not support that option, should it come up.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by LadySkadi]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:00 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

As a teacher yourself like my sister and two of my Aunts, first I take it you teach in a public school system?

And if so cell phones like I said should be in a back pack at all times, if they are taken out in your class you have the rite to confiscate it do you not?

So you chose not to do so, because and I will answer this for you, your scared yourself of getting beaten and or raped or worse. So don’t blame cell phones on your lack of ability to teach.

When in truth the reason you cant teach the way you may have the heart to is because your stuck to a program that is laid out by the testing board yes made up of teachers, but who are no longer in the classroom setting. Public school system is a joke.

On the world education America use to be number one in education.
As of the last report I have read put out by the federal government released by the president of education, one of whom after releasing such report opened the on line school now known as K-12.
From kindergarten to fourth grade we still rated almost at the top of the report.
From fifth to ninth we drop down around the half way point.
From ninth to twelfth we are at the bottom with third world countries out scoring us.
It’s called the dumb’ing down process the long you stay in school the dumber you become.

So the problem is not with the student’s inability to learn because we are close to the top until forth grade.
So the real problem is with the system.

The average ivory league school is made up of around 70 percent private school, 25 or so home schooled, leaving if lucky around a 5 percent of student body that went to public schools. That is the real problem in this country. And every year the home schooled is making up even more of the percentage taking from the private schools.

This is the real problem and why America has to look for employees from other countries to full certain jobs.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:07 PM
I could explain as well the problem in detail with the test as in fcat that is the Florida’s version of standard.
But I will do so just simply. The test is designed by area not nation wide.
If you give the test for Florida the one that says they have graduated high school. Good for them.
Now take that same exact test for there graduates and give it to New Jersey student I bet that most 5th graders would pass it with flying colors.
Don’t believe me try it, look at the actual test give in each state. And see how the less taxed states test are like 2 plus 2 compared to full blow algebra and all kinds of pre collage courses that are offered. Should not the standard test be for America and all students given the rite to learn to there full potential I think so.

I almost forgot but every year I have to sign a contract with the school, that tells them I am against capital punishment because they want the right to beat my kids. And no way is that ever going to happen. Just and fyi.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by drmeola]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by drmeola

Wow - lots of assumptions there. I have to come back to this, because I am not able to respond to your two posts adequately, at this time.

Suffice it to say that your assumptions are dead wrong (regarding me and my classroom in particular.) My posts to now have been IN GENERAL and not related to my particular case and I would appreciate it if you would not "speak for me" regarding my experiences in the classroom.

As for the overall problem of the educational system in general, you made very good points and I agree that the system is in dire need of restructure and direction.

[edit on 9-12-2009 by LadySkadi]

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:15 PM
The girl’s human rights were infringed in my opinion by this school because the administrators have a right to confiscate the phone at the most but they sure as heck do not have the right to search its folders. This is not the nineteen fifties, this is the twenty first century and children have rights and humans rights at that.

If a school did that to my daughter I would be contacting a solicitor too.

Hopefully the fools at this school who infringed this girls civil rights will learn a lesson and with luck maybe a head or two will role also.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:31 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi

Thank you ladyskadi, I will look forward to your reply.

To show just a little about the districts I have mentioned I was born in NJ and even within the state there is a problem up north the average student graduates high school with a two year degree. I attended that school till I was nine years of age then we moved down south NJ we didn’t have middle schools in that area it went from kindergarten to six, then 7 to 12th. I took test in seventh grade for placement I was put in with the 11 and 12th graders because just my forth grad education I received in the northern district. Was equal to the southern graduates. But my parents were to poor to send me to private school so I got put in limbo.

My kids I have three of them, started in NJ in the central Jersey district but because of money we had to move down to Florida my oldest for the first three years here was board to death because his education like mine as a child was greatly reduced. My middle child who only had a couple of years and also has a learning disability was just a little ahead of the students in his grade and my daughter is only in first grade, so she is fine as far being on track with the others in her class.

If you like I will post the info from the FCAT in Florida for you but here is the web site that tries to debunk the myths around the so called test, but you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see right through it.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:32 PM
It seems to be painfully appearant that many of the comments here are not being posted by anyone with kids who are at an age where they might actually need a cell phone.

I have 2 daughters, one is in Grade 8, and not actually able to sign a contract for a phone. This means that her phone, is really MY phone. So to claim that teachers have a "right" to confiscate MY phone, is simply not accurate.

The school my daughter attends has a policy in place where the students are not to use cell phones while in class. Just as you are not to use your cell phone in a theater, or in places where it will cause detriment to others. Seems fairly reasonable, so we respect that.

One can claim that the teachers are burdened by cell phone use in class, and they should be able to create a policy with the cooperation of the parents to curb that use in class. However, we have been hearing a whole lot about teachers molesting students or both sexes, and we have been hearing about coaches with their "webcam locker room" exploits. So to not have the availability of sending a text message, or snapping a quick picture can put our children at risk.

True, when I went to school, we did not have cell phones. We did have teacher molestations, which were your word against theirs, we did have school bullying that often went unreported because there was no evidence of the event and we did have power happy teachers who would violate your rights because they could, not because it was always necessary.

I think that cell phone use will become the new surveillance system, policing those that we entrust our children to. Imagine; a teacher searches your kids phone, only to see a picture of another teacher slapping a child. Would this teacher erase that picture? Would a police officer erase evidence of a misdoing? Or a priest?

The point here, is that the property in question is not the property of the school, or of the student, but that of the parent. The search of the property for any reason is outside of the bounds of a safe school environment and should be protected by the students and the parents rights.

When we address a problem like this, we must address it in a manner that does not assume that the teachers are above reproach and the rights of each one of us, student or not must be considered. The whole, "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" mentality really needs to stop.

If a school is allowed to search your electronic property, then so should your employer? Or anyone else who chooses to create a policy where your subject to random searches?

I know I'm going wayyy out here with these points, but the real issue goes far beyond the classroom and into mainstream society. To oversimplify the issue to an "ability to teach the children", kind of thing is a mistake. The rights you give up today, will NOT be returned to you. So it is in YOUR own best interest to protect those rights to the very end.

Thanks for reading.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:39 PM

AP) The United States is losing ground in education, as peers across the globe zoom by with bigger gains in student achievement and school graduations, a study shows.

Among adults age 25 to 34, the U.S. is ninth among industrialized nations in the share of its population that has at least a high school degree. In the same age group, the United States ranks seventh, with Belgium, in the share of people who hold a college degree.

By both measures, the United States was first in the world as recently as 20 years ago, said Barry McGaw, director of education for the Paris-based Organization for Cooperation and Development. The 30-nation organization develops the yearly rankings as a way for countries to evaluate their education systems and determine whether to change their policies.

McGaw said that the United States remains atop the "knowledge economy," one that uses information to produce economic benefits. But, he said, "education's contribution to that economy is weakening, and you ought to be worrying."

The report bases its conclusions about achievement mainly on international test scores released last December. They show that compared with their peers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, 15-year-olds in the United States are below average in applying math skills to real-life tasks.

Top performers included Finland, Korea, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada and Belgium.

Given what the United States spends on education, its relatively low student achievement through high school shows its school system is

The rest can be found on the web site link I posted.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by LadySkadi


It amazes me that Harvard U is the only one that scored 100.
Number 2 was Massachusetts institute of technology with a 86.9
Number 6 is California, Berkeley with a score of 80.6
After that our collages drop rapidly on the world scale of top 200.

This is the real problem with America.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 04:15 PM
I just remember a report also released that shows why as you head further west the education system stinks, it goes back to the time that the particular state joined the Union, as in agreement to join the USA they had to set aside examount of land for federal government use only the further west the more land was required. This means there was less land for the state to develop into taxable property that would help bring in local funds for a better education and to this day even though much of that land just sits and is used for nothing the feds refuse to give the land back to the state.

posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 04:42 PM

Originally posted by SmokeJaguar67
The girl’s human rights were infringed in my opinion by this school because the administrators have a right to confiscate the phone at the most but they sure as heck do not have the right to search its folders.

I agree with this sentiment fully.

As far as banning them, I guess you other guys have a point. But, what to do?

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by drmeola

As a teacher yourself like my sister and two of my Aunts, first I take it you teach in a public school system?

Sort of. I'm in a unique position as I do work within the public school system, but for an alternative high school program, which means I have many options available to me to better work with a particular student's situation, than I would if I were working at the main high school(s).

And if so cell phones like I said should be in a back pack at all times, if they are taken out in your class you have the rite to confiscate it do you not?

Yes, the policy is to take phones, if they are used in class.

So you chose not to do so, because and I will answer this for you, your scared yourself of getting beaten and or raped or worse. So don’t blame cell phones on your lack of ability to teach.

Absolutely not. I am not afraid of the students. The students who attend this school are in a "last chance" type of situation. They have chosen to leave mainstream high school, or were told to (expelled) and this their last option before completely dropping out. So, yes, there are many many issues to deal with when working with teens in these circumstances. However, because it is an alternative setting, the education and instruction is highly individual and takes into account a student's situation both in school and out of school. The population is much smaller than mainstream high school, class sizes are small. I know every student at that school, I know when someone has not come to school and I have a way to reach them if they do not (some may call that babysitting, sometimes I do feel that way but it adds another layer to their accountability if they know they are going to be called out for skipping) and I know most of the parents of the students in my classes. In fact, in many cases I am talking to them almost daily.

When in truth the reason you cant teach the way you may have the heart to is because your stuck to a program that is laid out by the testing board yes made up of teachers, but who are no longer in the classroom setting. Public school system is a joke.

This I cannot disagree with. The overall system of education in the US is lacking and is a huge issue. One that must be addressed. The rest of your points (made above) about the education system at large, were fabulous and I do agree with you.

[edit on 9-12-2009 by LadySkadi]

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:28 AM
reply to post by v3_exceed

Fabulous insight and great points. I agree with everything that you wrote and I can't really think of anything more to add.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:37 AM
reply to post by LadySkadi

Thank you my lady
I greatly appreciate your work in the school that you get to teach, it how ever unfortunate that the general population has to wait till they are classified as drop out ready in order to attend. Your unique ability to form a relationship with your students and there parents I highly praise.

I can only pray for the day the regular system catches up too what you have been able to accomplish my hat is off to you, and your students.
Keep up the good work.

I also hope one of these days we can get rid of the I think its called the ACLU if that is the rite union that is involved in education. And start untying the hands of the teachers like yourself who truly want nothing more than to teach there students.

Again thank you and I hope to hear from you again on one of my threads I would like you to look over the one especially on tax-exemption.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:37 AM
To the original topic:
In this case it is acknowledged that the teacher violated policy and searched the student's phone without right. So, it appears that the teacher over stepped the bounds and the case should be reviewed and the teacher held accountable for the violation of policy.

ed: sorry, spelling.
need more coffee

[edit on 9-12-2009 by LadySkadi]

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:48 AM

Originally posted by LadySkadi
Here's another perspective:

Mass emails going out to peers with regards to drug deals, when and where. Originating from dealer at a particular high school and sent to peers at other high schools including the Alternative high schools. During in-school session (class time)... What are the school's rights and responsibilities?

True story, happened at the school I teach at.

[edit on 8-12-2009 by LadySkadi]

You as the school do not have the right to breach a childs privacy its that simple. The government technically dont have the right to read your emails without attaining permission via the appropriate legal channels, and neither do you.

Now if we are talking about a school email adress based on school servers, then its fair game as long as the children are aware the corrospendence in those accounts is subject to being read by third parties.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by gYvMessanger

Have to disagree with you. Minors. That's what needs to be remembered. If the school authorities believe a crime is being committed, the school has the authority to take action. Locker searches, etc. can all be performed if there is just cause. Mass text messages regarding drug deals, made during school hours and outlining illegal activities, on school property, falls under just cause.

*I do have to say that I was not involved in this, so I don't know the exact details to this particular situation* The reason I know of it is because most of the students found to be directly involved were expelled (and landed at the alternative school, I work for) However, in general, what I've outlined is true for the school district, with regards to searches.

My assumption (ya, I know) is that these texts were being talked about and shown around teachers or the school cops and that's how they were found out. I don't really know, though.

*Dang, I just noticed that in my first post I wrote "mass emails" when in fact, I meant "mass texts"...

[edit on 9-12-2009 by LadySkadi]

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 11:59 AM
I understand why you feel the ends justify the means, and I certainly dont agree with the idea that kids should be able to get away with mass texting several schools to arrange drug deals.

But is it your place as the school to invade non school grounds (in the form of cyber space) and use information illegally obtained there. I'm going to have to say no.

Would you make a child hand over the key to their diary ? If it is was then in code would you force them to translate it ? Could you ? Do you think you have that right ?

Thats essentially what your doing.

Locker searching fairplay, leaning on kids under your control, kind of ok, taking a childs phone and reading private corrospendance that occured via text or email which is outsides of the schools remit, not ok.

I do sympathise with the problem, but if you think that there is serious drug dealing going down in your school, then your job is too alert the appropriate authories. not try to take action yourselves.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 12:04 PM
When I was in school (not all that long ago) you did not have rights anyway. School was a place children went to learn things, among them - how to behave in society. You were not getting personal phone calls or visitors. In fact, people took hats off indoors because that is what you do in polite society. It was just known that since we were kids, we did not farm, work factories, or fight in wars, so we did not get the same rights as every free adult. That is how America used to work. You are not born with the right to drink, drive, vote, do drugs, etc. You earn some of them and never get others. I guess the times have changed.

posted on Dec, 9 2009 @ 12:06 PM
If a school searched my kids phone, illegally, I would be upset with the school.

If they found inappropriate pictures on the phone, my kid would loose phone privileges for a long long time.

In either case, I would not sue, unless the school district wanted to punish my child for an illegal search. I took care of punishing my kids.

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