Threats of Violence Lead to Cellphone Ban at Atherton Schools
A new 'no cellphone' Policy at Atherton Junior/Senior High School goes into effect Monday (11/14) and the ban has some parents enraged.
The Atherton Schools board of education voted to implement the policy at a meeting Thursday (11/10) night after multiple Airdrop messages threatening violence at the school were received.
Atherton Schools Issues Zero-Tolerance Policy on Communications Devices
According to a letter posted on Atherton Schools' website, the school board is implementing the no-cellphone policy at the recommendation of Burton Police Chief Brian Ross and the FBI.
"Such cell phones, smartphones, and smartwatches are strictly prohibited on the premises of Atherton Junior/Senior High School."
The letter goes on to say that communications devices will be confiscated and must be picked up by parents at the end of the day. Students who violate the school's new policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
Threats of Violence Lead to 'No Cellphone' Policy
Classes were shuttered at Atherton Schools for nearly a week in October after Airdops messages threatening violence were received. Airdrop messages can only be sent and received from a short distance, leading local police and the FBI to determine that the threats originated from inside or just outside the school building.
The threats followed the news that a longtime teacher had been accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.
Mixed Reactions From Parents
Although some parents support the school's new policy, there are some who are critical of the school's decision to ban the devices. A spirited discussion on the Burton City Chat Facebook page began shortly after the new policy was made public.
Debbi Rowland noted in the comments that "Social Media devices ARE a privilege and should NOT be allowed in schools to begin with.
Tiffany Wilson adds "We weren't walking around with cells phones when I was in school and we had no problem contacting our parents if we needed too." [sic]
Eric Anderson clearly disagrees with the decision, simply saying "Not happy about it at all pissed."
The letter posted by Atherton Community Schools is posted below in its entirety.