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Ban Smart Phones in High Schools

Original post made by Annie, Evergreen Park, on Aug 30, 2013

The principal of Stuyvesant High School, one of New York City’s top public schools, mishandled the investigation into a large cheating operation there last year from the moment he was tipped off to it until state education officials became aware of it more than a week later, a city report issued on Friday said.

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Comments (6)

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Posted by Paly Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Headline is all wrong. Students are not allowed to have cell phones out during exams. Most do not use their cell phones during class. Cell phone usage is allowed during non-class time, which is reasonable because it gives students a chance to relax. Some teachers use cell phones for instruction and communication. We don't have any issues with cell phone abuse at Paly.


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Posted by Sarah Togo
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

We used to live in another community near Los Gatos, and the cheating via cell phones at that local high school was rampant. It concluded in a big scandal just about four years ago, quite similar to the one at Stuyvesant (Peter Stuyvesant is churning in his grave). Unfortunately, it involved foreign-born children and children of foreign-born parents even more than native-born children.

This is a high-pressure school, like Stuyvesant, and there are always more cheating issues at such schools, public or private. In the local case, though, the pressure was from the parents far, far more than from the high school itself.

Cell phones were just an easy, discreet enabler. Take them away and these over-pressured kids will find another way.

I suspect there are many cheating cases that go undetected due to the hide-ability of smart phones.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 31, 2013 at 12:08 pm

The problem is the cheating, not the phones.


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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Agree that cheating is going to be done with or without smart phones.

Banning the phones or demanding that they are put in a box at the front of the room doesn't mean to say that there will be no phones in a classroom. It is not uncommon for someone to have more than one phone so that one could be shown to be turned off or put in a box in the front of the room, while the other phone is still being used in class or to cheat in a test.

There is a culture of cheating whereby if you get what you want by cheating it is ok and if you get caught, so what, it was for a noble reason. There is a good reason why Turnitin.com is being used for homework. And it isn't just the kids who OK the cheating, but the parents too. They are even enabling their kids to do it.

Plagiarism, cheating in tests and exams are definitely occurring, as to how much in PAUSD, I'm not sure. If the cheaters are being caught then the schools are keeping mum and if they are getting away with it they are getting into the best schools and probably doing the same there.

I would like to see how it can be stopped, but banning the phones is not going to stop the cheaters.


Like this comment
Posted by jake
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Other Paly Parent
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 31, 2013 at 9:54 pm

@ jake

I am confused. Are you implying that foreign born parents managed to get into the US because they cheated? I find this offensive. I, for one, am a foreign born US citizen who did not resort to cheating to come into the US (or for much of anything else either). And there are many other immigrants who are honest. Please, do not lump all immigrants together. Also, I am aware of students who have cheated in school who were born in non immigrant families. So...


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