Several “news” web sites are carrying the story of a 14 year old girl in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin who was arrested at the school on Tuesday, Feb. 17 for texting in class.
Most of the sites report the story as it was originally reported on The Smoking Gun web site, in that they all wonder if it was necessary for school officials to call the police. Apparently, she has frequently texted in class in the past, and had frequently been told by her teachers to put away her phone.
Some of you may be thinking, “Wauwatosa!?! What else are you supposed to do in Wauwatosa?” Don’t get carried away on the rustic name. It’s a city in the Milwaukee metropolitan area.
Of course, the details about the police interaction with the student are telling about the students honesty and trustworthiness:
1. The girl repeatedly denied having a phone on her person, but a subsequent frisking of the girl revealed a cell phone hidden in the back of her pants.
2. When asked for her mother’s phone number, the student gave several false numbers, just off by one or two digits before finally offering the correct phone number.
Regardless of whether or not you feel it was necessary to call the police, it is clear that the student has problems with self-discipline and honesty. Texting in class is just another impediment to getting the most out of your education. Apparently she was texting in her math class, too. Tonight, she can show her parent’s how to deduct $268 from their bank balance for bail on disorderly conduct. It would be interesting to know what her grades are like, in general, and I’ll venture a guess she was texting other students in the building.
Granted, people will say it’s the parent’s responsibility to teach their kids better, but when they fall short of that goal are the rest of us supposed to excuse the child’s actions and say, “It’s not the kid’s fault. Their parents should have done better.” I don’t think so. In this case the crime is minor, and due to her age it will probably be sealed, so details won’t come out later. Perhaps if she learns anything from this incident she’ll turn around and have her record cleared later.
In the meanwhile she’s been held on $268 bail for disorderly conduct. Hopefully her mother will discipline her appropriately, and, hopefully, the child will learn something valuable from this.
Of course, she’ll probably enjoy the fact that she’s been barred from the school grounds for a week. Now she’ll be able to text her friends from the comfort of home unless her parent’s choose to take the phone away from her. Barring her from school was probably the most unnecessary punishment for her in this case. She probably has enough class time to make up for already.
Those of you who are reading this on your cell phones in class or in the conference room at work probably think I’m nuts.
For more on the story check out TG Daily, Fox News, and The Smoking Gun. Read the Houston Chronicle’s report on the Etiquette on texting. Got an opinion? Post it as a comment below.
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