knox snooze

Succotash my Balzac, dipshiitake.

Phone home

Today's KNS reports on the "problem" of mobile phones in public schools in Knoxville. Phones are currently prohibited for students while at school. It's not just their use that is prohibited or restricted, but their presence. If a student is found to have a phone in a purse or backpack, regardless of whether it is being used, it is immediately confiscated, and must be picked up by the student's parent.

School officials claim that they are worried about students abusing the phones in order to cheat or to take "indiscreet" photos. Their solution, then, is to prohibit them. I think the schools have a right to restrict the use of phones by students during school hours, but the prohibition is an overreaction. It's about the equivalent of banning pens and paper because students are passing too many notes during class. As much as it might irk the uber-traditionalists among local educators, mobile communication technology is a regular part of everyday life for teenagers. Better to find a way to accept it and make it a productive tool rather than ignorantly ban them.

I think the blindness and foolish paranoia that characterizes these school officials is summarized nicely by Steve Griffin, the chief of security for Knox County Schools.
Kids go out on a fire drill, they don't want to be in school that day. They'll tell mom there's been a shooting, there's been a bomb, come get me.
What idiot parent responds, more than once, at least, to that kind of manipulation and absurdity? What is this guy doing in charge of security?
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