Jamming cell-phone signals on school campuses…


This article from British Columbia refers to a high school principal who bought a cell phone signal jammer from an online dealer in China in order to thwart students from using their phones at school in violation of district policy. First off, hats off to the resourcefulness of the principal in this situation – even though what he did was later deemed unlawful. He was probably fed up with abuse and misuse of cell phones on his campus, and his decision may have been prompted by cases that severely compromised the learning environment he was trying to create. It’s disheartening, though, that it came to this – that educational efforts, deterrent strategies, formal policies in place, and vigilant monitoring and sanctioning did not decrease the problem enough. I’m not sure of the extent to which they were implemented.  Students are going to use cell phones at school if there is not a complete prohibition against it (and likely even still unless the accompanying penalties are heavy).

Secondly, maybe we can reduce the amount of texting students do between each other during the school day. That said, we’re finding that parents are often contributing to the problem. Parents are so used to reaching their children easily and quickly through cell phones. This convenience is extremely valued, and even if you request them to relay messages through the school front office, it probably is not going to happen. This is further reason why parents should perhaps formally agree to a policy at the beginning of the school year detailing the penalties their child will face if caught using their phone on campus – and maybe that will dissuade them from contributing to the problem. Better yet – and as we’ve mentioned in a previous post – make it so the parents are meaningfully inconvenienced when their child breaks the rules.


  1. The Lubbock Independant School District of Texas had instituted a $15.00 retrieval fee for confiscated phones, but discontinued it because of the "ill -will" it created. The Leopold Missouri high school handbook now has put into writing the consequences of repeatedly breaking the cell phone policy: first time- pick up at principal office. Second time- phone kept for one week and then released to a parent. Third time- phone kept for rest of the semester. It is because students repeatedly and continuously break the policies regarding their phones that schools are being forced to do this. The parents are as much to blame as the children, for they know the school rules-or should know them.

  2. My school day starts at 8:06 AM. the students always come a little bit early so they can sit in the bleachers and socialize with their peers. now our school handbook states that our school hours start at 8:06AM and end at 3:20PM. the handbooks says that students cannot use their cell phones DURING SCHOOL HOURS. at 7:30 AM i was in the bleachers talking to my friends. i was texting my sister because my aunt was supposed to be dieing. we had always been able to use our phones in the bleachers. but a certain teacher ripped my phone out of my hands. i dont believe she should have been able to do this because it was not during school hours. also, i dont think that schools should be able to put a signal jammer on. a student could be waiting for a text or call from a parent or family member regarding an emergency. the day the school took my phone, my aunt died. my sister tried texting me to inform me but of course, i didnt get that text until that evening when my mom went in and picked up my phone. so the cell phone policies at the school are becoming twisted and are not being correctly followed. they take phones at inappropriate times. and they should not be able to touch a students phone when they are only using it regarding an emergency. SO THE SCHOOLS NEED TO LOOSEN UP!

  3. At the high school in my district, they have a system called "scramble" and it does the same thing and i agree with what you said, kids are more likely to answer their parents over a text than a "missed call". The high school doesn't get a lot of bull from this but I believe that it is wrong to be able to have that sort of power over kids.

    I just think it's all bullcrap

  4. Both my hig school and my college appear to be blocing cellphone signals. Yet, it seems that only tmobile is blocked. I get service as soon as I step outside the building though. Its really stressful because I dnt get texts from my parents until I step outside. If theres an emergency and no one can go outside, how am I to contact my parents? The college should know that we are resposible students. They should only worry if we use our phones in class. The teacher can handle that. Also, why only tmobile? It seems the students that have service are usually the more disruptive ones. I am a good student and will not use cellphone during class. If the school only blocks one service, then whats the use? If you block one, the block them all. Not all students have the same network.

  5. Students fail to realize that texting in class is totally disrespectful to the teacher, no matter the excuse for texting. Most texts by far are rather trivial, not important enough to disrupt teachers or distract students. ALL schools should use cell phone jammers when classes are in session (and between classes too). As far as "having power over kids is concerned", adolescents need to wake up to the real world and realize that they are NOT entitled to text use whenever they feel like it. Do they assume that they can text while at work whenever they want to? Courts bar cell phones outright, telling prospective jurors to turn off their cell phones while in the courtroom. If courts can tell adults to turn off their phones, why can't schools do the same and start jamming cell phone signals if students fail to comply? This "entitlement" attitude that kids have today is alarming, and their parents are partly to blame. "Kurt" needs to realize that his issue was an exception, since most kids do not have real emergencies at school. But then again, his issue could have waited until after school or until he got home. Or his parents could have called him at school instead.

    I think that students' contempt for school rules is BS, especially when teachers catch them texting!

  6. why would people be on their cell phones during class and when the teacher is talking. It’s also not nice to bully other people or kids I would not like to see bullying.

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