Phones For Fear

Phones For Fear

August 11, 2022
Signatures: 333Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by kay sgroi

By signing this petition, you show effort to support the overrule the new Virginia Beach City Public Schools "No Cellular Phones and/or other Portable Telecommunications Devices" regulation.

"Legal Reference Code of Virginia $ 22.1-279.6 (E), as amended. Board of Education Guidelines and Model Policies for Codes of Student Conduct; School Board Regulations"


Amended in August of 2022, the School Board of Virginia Beach City Public Schools has passed a new regulation, "Legal Reference Code of Virginia $ 22.1-279.6 (E), as amended. Board of Education Guidelines and Model Policies for Codes of Student Conduct; School Board Regulations".

This guideline stating that; "The use of portable communications devices, such as cellular telephones, or other hand-held computing devices (when such device is being used as a communications device), by any person on property (including vehicles) controlled by the School Board to engage in unlawful or unauthorized activity is prohibited."

"Even powering up a phone on school property
will now against school board policy.

And the uttermost known statement reading; "No longer will high school students be allowed to spend every break hunched over their phones and they won't be permitted to text or call their friends or family during the school day, thus terminating one of the most persistent distractions to education."

This statement includes emergency situations, giving students a false sense of security.

For example (1):

If a legal guardian whom picks their child up from school is running behind on schedule, typically the easiest and most convenient way to inform the child would be a simple text or call to the child's cell phone. In this example, without this ability, parents and guardians will be required to call the child's school to get the message to the child. This would be convenient, however, office hours are only available until the final bell is to ring at the end of the day. Now, some might say, "Inform the school earlier, before the bell is to ring". If this is an emergency situation, in which the guardian does not have knowledge of such until after the bell rings, complications could occur, especially if this were to be a lower grade student. 

Example (2):

There is a live shooting at a child's school. The child's legal guardian is at home, work, etc. however, has no knowledge of the shooting. The child is afraid, and would like to contact their guardian. With a cell phone available to them, this would be a simple procedure. The guardian would quietly calm them to the best of their ability over text, and possibly offer to pick them up if that was the option they felt fit best. Without a cell phone, the student may be able to contact their guardian, but even so, would not have that ability until after lockdown was lifted. The school would not alert guardians of lockdown until at the earliest- minutes into said lockdown, or at the latest- an hour or extended afterward. This process may work generally for teachers, but for students with general or severe Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Psychosis, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, Autism, Paranoia, Dissociation/Dissociative Disorders, etc. This way of work could cause serious damage to the student's mental state. 

If a student is utterly disrespectful to a teacher, staff member, or another student, that is what should be disciplined. 

If a student informs a teacher or staff member that they are in contact with a parent or loved one, especially regarding an emergency situation, that is what should not be disciplined.

Reducing student's ability to feel secure between four white walls will only cause more rebellious behavior.

If a "safe learning space" is what an educational environment is meant to be, then instead of enforcing a regulation that restricts their primary outlet that's used for emergencies, let's start enforcing a genuinely secure sensed community. 

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