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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why I Blog: A Response to “Phone-A-Phobia” Critics

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Since I created my post on Phone-A-Phobia, I have received numerous critics, all of which have claimed that my purpose of drafting this post was out of self-interest - that I had written it in the hopes of having my detention dismissed.  However, I would like to address all of you and state that my intentions were the complete opposite.

Today, I did not fight it.  I did not resist it.  I did, however, voice my opinion to several staff members in a professional manner, representing the student body and sharing my opinion on the matter.  I gave just reasons and listened to the responses that they had given me with respect.  After school, I served my detention with dignity, just as any of you that have been previously affected have done.

This brings me to my major point of posting this; I published the Phone-A-Phobia post for the student body as a whole.  I posted what students, staff, and community members were afraid to post.  In two months, I will no longer be affiliated with the high school as an enrolled student.  Therefore, this rule will most likely never directly affect me again.  However, for those of you that are currently enrolled in public education, you will continue to have your learning degraded by unjust rules like this one.

If you are someone that spreads the word that I share my opinion only out of self-interest, please stop.  I did not sit late at night typing in an attempt to revoke a detention that I knew would not be revoked.  I served the punishment, just as any other student in the school would have.  However, I did not serve it believing that I was a juvenile delinquent; I served it feeling as if I was another victim.  

I am just one of the thousands of victims affected by rules like this across schools nationwide.  My Phone-A-Phobia post was created with them in mind.  I write because I want to have an impact on the world.  This is why I take pride as a teen blogger for Jeff Yalden and why I write posts that I believe will make the world a better place.

As a future computer engineer, it hurts me to see that something that should be embraced in education is shunned in many public schools today.  This is why I write this post.  Students are being insulted, degraded, and falsely punished for checking the current time, calling their mothers to bring swimming trunks, and engaging in many other harmless activities.

As I previously stated, I took the punishment as a whole and served it with pride and dignity.  This is what MLK, Gandhi, and many other leaders looking for change have done.  If you are negatively affected by this kind of policy, serve your sentence, but do not remain silent.  Speak your mind.  More importantly, if you receive a punishment for using your phone or engaging in any other activities that pose no threat to others whatsoever, do not wish that punishment on others simply because you received it.  If you believe that you wrongly received it, stand up for the current victims.  I had many fellow students tell me today that it was a rule, and I should serve it and shut up.  Do you know what they all had in common?  They had all previously been victims of this unjust rule.  They wanted me to receive the punishment because they had received it.

If you have been punished by an unfair “no tolerance” electronic policy, please feel free to share your experience and opinion here.  As a high school senior, I wish the best for my lowerclassmen and hope that they receive fair treatment during their time in the public education system. 
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  1. In paragraph three in the final line; I can say from my school having a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program, I my educational experience has increased. This program has allowed every student to get work done in an effective manner. It is a pitty that other schools have not embraced it.

    1. I agree strongly with you on this matter. I love the stance that your school has taken on electronic device use and can only wish that my school chooses to do the same in the future.

  2. I never intended to imply that you wrote the post in the interest of having your punishment dismissed, and I'm all for standing up for victims of unjust rules. I just think that this is a huge overreaction. The school has the right to say they don't want you using electronic devices during school hours and the fact remains that you could probably have gotten the swimming trunks using the office phone without violating a rule.
    I speak not as someone who wants to see you punished as I have been punished in the past. I speak as someone who has never been punished for cell phone use, because I choose to follow the rules as they are laid out and discuss, rather than flagrantly violate, those rules that I find to be unfair. And as that person, I become irritated when people act like victims because they were punished for breaking a rule they had full knowledge of. I don't intend this to be a personal attack in any way. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I love that you stand up for what you believe in. I just don't agree with the way you did it this time. That's all.

    1. First, I would like to thank you for being a frequent reader of my blog. I appreciate all of my readers and the opinions that they share. Next, I would like to acknowledge that this post was in no way targeted at any single person; it was meant to address those that misinterpreted my Phone-A-Phobia post as a way to escape punishment (which you do not sound like you were one, but trust me, there were people that complained in this fashion). In addition, I would like to say that while I would love to further address your reply, I am unaware of who you are, as you posted the comment anonymously. I respect your opinion, but I will say that I disagree with you on this issue. As a future computer engineer, this hits me at the heart. I see technology as one of the most important things in our lives and as something that could greatly improve the learning process. I agree that private institutions should have the ability to ban electronic devices, but public education facilities, which are funded by tax payers and have no major competition, should not be able to put controversial, subjective laws into place. The problem is that there are currently two major schools of thought with electronics in education: using them to enhance education and banning them to protect education. Personally, I believe that using them to enhance education is a much more logical stance, but some people disagree with me. However, I stand strongly on the fact that subjective rules, which are formed on the basis of opinion, should not be in place in a public institution, as the breaking of them does not objectively affect the welfare of another person. As I previously stated, I respect your opinion and would love to discuss the matter with you further if you wish. I am interested in hearing your opinion on the matter.

  3. After reading your post on Phone a phobia, I feel that this is a gross overreaction to what seems to be a very simple issue. There is nothing wrong with serving a detention. It is quite dignified and manly to be amongst those chosen to remain at school when the weak have left. Your idea that detention is degrading is completely wrong. Detention uplifts the human soul and gives one the freedom to be unique. Only during detention is one truly able to achieve his full potential as an individual. You should feel honored and humbled to be among such a select group of the most skilled human beings in the world. We are the true champions of the world and the world bends down before us.



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