Well, they do sorta have a point about the ability to call 911 (especially since wired phones are in short supply these days). It also might be time to stop the arms race, before we jam the students' cellphones, they jam the projector, we jam the wifi they're using because they can't get a cell signal, they find a way to unobtrusively loosen/damage the CAT-5 cable to the instructor computer, and so on. . . . Ultimately, there's got to be a bit of cooperation and common purpose, or the whole thing falls apart. But having found it considerably more difficult to teach a 40-student lit section with occasional lecture and considerable (more or less successful attempts at) whole-class discussion than my usual <25-person activity-based comp courses, I have considerable sympathy for those who are trying to maintain even a modicum of decorum and attention in an even larger classroom (or, in the case of this teacher, one with younger students who aren't even theoretically there voluntarily). It ain't easy.
The other solution, I suppose, is the one taken by the guy who tried flunking his whole class. That, too, has its downsides. Can't we all just get along?
Here's a clickable link to the article.Here's a link to another article about the incident, which was brought to our attention by Beaker Ben in this comment the other day. The latter article links to this article about a high school principal who was enforcing the school's cell-phone policy, to the dismay of the parent of a child whose phone was impounded for several days. The comment section is rife with amateur lawyers yammering on about theft, conversion, 4th amendment, etc. and honing their skills of proof by repeated assertion. However, courts have upheld the impoundment of cell phones as a disciplinary tool in cases where the policy was published and reasonable.
"It also might be time to stop the arms race . . . there's got to be a bit of cooperation and common purpose, or the whole thing falls apart."Quite right. But I think that selling both sides on the idea that one side is the "customer" hastens the decay. Students typically have a far less nuanced understanding view of what it means to be a customer. They've seen their parents send food back to the restaraunt's kitchen, etc., and mostly equate being a customer with getting one's way. They are generally more concerned about defending their rights than exercising their responsibilities.
What the teacher did was likely against the law because he deliberately interfered with a telecommunications service.