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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Cell phone confiscation appears hypocritical, uncaring

This letter is in response to the the Nov. 19 article, Cell phone rules instigate controversy.

Dear Editor:

Sydney, thank you for your well-written opinion piece on the cell phone issue. Your words brought a perspective to the situation that I have allowed myself to neglect.

I had no intention of humiliating you earlier this semester when I asked you to forfeit your phone for the rest of the day. I often make a joke out of confiscating cell phones in order to keep the mood light for those students who are only occasional policy offenders. The last thing I desire is to leave a student embarrassed and frustrated from my interaction.

That being said, I wonder about the meaning behind several of your comments. First, is it true that “cell phones are banned during special circumstances, such as family emergencies?”

I understand the policy to be that unauthorized cell phone use will be considered inappropriate. Surely during any emergency (family or otherwise), or even during a “miniature” emergency such as arranging rides for the end of the day, a student could ask an instructor for permission to step outside of the classroom (and outside of the building) in order to make a quick call or send off a brief text message reply.

As far as my memory serves me, I granted permission for each such request this year. My “collecting” cell phones is reserved for times when a student decides against asking for permission.

Regarding your comment that “students should not be criticized and condemned for accidental behaviors when their instructors break the rules,” I have two thoughts.

First, have I ever used a cell phone during class? Certainly during lunch, yes, but considering that my classroom is my “office,” and there are no land lines, this seems well within reason. Second, is there a rule against instructors using cell phones during class? There might be, but I am not aware of one, possibly because the number of times an instructor has used a cell phone to aid in cheating on a quiz or test can be counted on, well, no hands at all.

These arguments stray from my gut reaction to reading your opinion piece, so let me return to these thoughts as I close.

If I appear uncaring in my applying the rules regarding cell phones to my classroom, please accept my apology. It is not my aim to be (or even appear) uncaring or hypocritical. I will strive to be more kind in the future, especially toward those students who so often follow perfectly the rules set forth by our administration.

Respectfully yours,

Mr. Fenton

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