Tuesday, August 28, 2007

she learned her lesson...NOT!

From Sunday's C-J:

The first time North Oldham sophomore Allison Gullion was caught using her cell phone during class, she was given a warning. The second time Allison got caught, sending a text message to her cousin during Spanish class last spring, she lost the phone for good. According to district rules, the phone -- a $200 pink Blade she got for Christmas -- now belongs to the school board. "I bawled the entire day," the 16-year-old said. "I was devastated. That cell phone meant a lot to me."

-OK, this sounds reasonable: presumably a general warning to all students expressed as a school policy, followed by a specific warning to Allison and those who violated the policy-- and their parents, followed by confiscation of the phone of two-time offenders. (Later, we're told that such phones are given to shelters for battered women.) The punishment is likely to change her bad behavior-- or at least be a deterrent for others who are wiser.

-a $200 phone? why such a nice phone?

-"bawled the entire day...devastated"? Is this:
a.) a gender thing
b.) a spoiled kid thing
c.) afraid of her parents (don't think so with what follows)
d.) embarrassed in front of her peers (don't think so; why would she talk to the newspaper?)

"That thing wasn't cheap," said Allison's mother, Joni Burnett, who complained to the board in May after her daughter lost her phone. "I understand that they shouldn't have them on during school, but don't take them away."

-OK, I'm going with answer B. Can you imagine complaining to authorities about this? Can you imagine complaining after you've personally been warned that your daughter had violated the policy once already? Can you imagine wanting to be in the newspaper for complaining about this? And she says that she understands but that the authorities should not "take them away"...huh?

Other local schools which were included in the story (Jefferson County/Louisville and Floyd/New Albany) have policies of confiscation and returning them to parents. (It wasn't clear from the article whether kids received any/multiple warnings.)

An update from this morning's C-J: On Monday night, the Oldham County School Board voted unaminously for a more lenient policy. Good luck with that!

The Sunday article closes with:
Allison said she keeps her new phone, a Razor worth $150, off and tucked away in her locker until school lets out. "I learned my lesson," she said.

When did Allison learn her lesson?
a.) After the general policy was announced
b.) After she was caught the first time and she and her parents were warned
c.) After the phone was confiscated

So what lesson(s) did Allison learn?
a.) I better not use my cell phone in class!
b.) If me and my parents complain enough, we can change a good policy that inconveniences me.
c.) My Mom is really putting her foot down, by only buying me a $150 phone!

It looks like Allison's home life is far from ideal. (In addition to a set of highly questionable parenting decisions here, given the different last names, one would infer multiple marriages and divorce.) Hopefully, ten years from now, she'll look back on this moment with embarrassment. For now, we can only hope and pray...


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