Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ask NYC Educator

NYC Math Teacher writes:

I would be a little gun shy about taking away a phone for two reasons:

1. Expensive personal item
2. What if the kid comes into harm's way on the way home from school and the parent is a litigious sort.

Am I too cautious for my own good?

Dear NYC Math Teacher,

I think you are.

If you confiscate anything, and I would do so only as a last resort, but if you do, you leave it at the dean's office with a statement as to why it is there.

In fact, students are not permitted to carry cell phones in NYC schools. This has been on TV, and in every major newspaper (Most importantly, of course, it's been examined in some depth on NYC Educator).

In the highly unlikely event something untoward should happen to the kid on the way home, you were following DoE policy. That's your job, actually.

That's good enough for me (Note-NYC Educator is not a lawyer), and I wouldn't hesitate. There must be consequences for unacceptable behavior in your classes, and the whole world must know it. When they do, there will be far less unacceptable behavior.

I think a lot of your authority as a teacher (and as a parent) derives from your own attitude. I am the boss, that's it, and I will make it my mission in life to ensure everyone in that kid's home knows every gruesome detail of every atrocity the kid has committed since entering high school.

If you're wrong, of course, you have to admit it.

You seem a reasonable sort, so that probably won't happen much, and certainly not when a kid answers a cell in your class. If you let it pass, it will happen again, and again, and again.

And again. You get the idea.

Consider becoming more of a ruthless fascistic bastard, like me.
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