Washington school purchases cell phone jammer to thwart texting teens

Aaron Baker
Writer from  Dallas, TX
| Published: March 10, 2009

When I was in school, we passed notes.  And it wasn't just a pass via hand.  We had some creative ways of concealing the notes; we would stick them in pens, pretend to "exchange class notes," and other ways that I can't remember.  Unfortunately, anyone that subscribed to the note method in high school is now out of the loop.  Monthly totals of 10,000+ text messages are no longer considered an abnormality (though I have to admit, 14,528 messages in a month still ranks up there).  Texting is the new note passing, and it's quickly gaining popularity in high schools nationwide.  As a result, it is becoming more and more of a class distraction, and educators are becoming increasingly frustrated.

After repeatedly asking students to shut off their devices, Mt. Spokane school in Spokane, Washington decided to try a different route.  They purchased a cell phone jammer for less than $100 online and tested it for three days during class periods.  The jammer was then turned off during breaks and lunchtime.  "We believe that there are times during the school day that parents need to have access to students and students need to have access to family members, and doctors and things like that," Mt. Spokane Principal John Hook said.  The school is part of the Mead School District, and they are working with the FCC to determine the legality of blocking cellular service in the school.  If the practice is deemed illegal, the school plans to return the device and ask for a refund.

What are your thoughts on the matter?  Should middle/high school students have the ability to message and call throughout the day without restrictions?  Sound off in the comments section!

Source: MSNBC