Cell Phones, Video Cameras and Schools

On many North Carolina elementary and secondary school campuses, cell phone usage by students is (supposedly) banned during school hours. But ask many teachers and administrators and they will tell you that it is nearly impossible to police this rule. In fact, during last week’s rash of Guilford County School lockdowns, cell phones may have saved lives. Students used them to secretly call parents and text-message them, informing them of the pending emergencies. Media caught word of the situations minutes later.

We’ve heard the use of cell phones as it relates to cheating in classrooms. We’re also now hearing more and more incidents of cell phone cameras being used to record school fights. See this story in today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal, a former employer of mine, in which a cell phone camera took pictures of a major classroom fight in a Las Vegas-area school, and how school administrators cannot guarantee the safety of the victim.

Are there legalities here or protections involved? Who’s right and who’s wrong? And is it time that we revisit these policies?

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UPDATE, 5/17/07, 12:38PM: See this News 14 Carolina story (with video) about how these devices are changing the landscapes of schools.

E.C. 🙂

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2 Responses

  1. Until Guilford County can get control of their schools back, my kids will have a phone. I dare anyone to try and take them away.

  2. With only about 16 more school days left, we can get ready to breathe a sigh of relief.

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