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MissESL MissESL is offline
 
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Observation - “double standard”
Old 09-02-2019, 02:44 PM
 
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There are two hot button issues going around our area right now, and I’ve noticed an interesting trend.

The first is mandatory drug testing for all students involved in extracurricular activities...not just athletes. The policy includes any extracurricular activity, and any student who may have a vehicle on school grounds.

The second is a neighboring district’s overhaul of their cellphone use policy...that is, they will be off and in lockers from the first bell to last. (ETA: This district has classroom phones. My district is slated to get them, but do not yet.)

The change in policy for our district is a result of a huge spike in drug use and related accidents (I.e. accidental overdose). The neighboring district has dealt with students recording fights or recording teachers in inappropriate situations (like deliberately being disrespectful and recording the teacher’s reaction). Both these policies have been widely reported in the news as “controversial” but most of the comments have been one note.

Most seem very stuck on “if the kids are drug tested, so should every teacher/coach or it’s a double standard” and “if my kid can’t have their phone, there better not be a single teacher with one, bc that’s a double standard.”

I guess I feel that there’s a distinct difference between what an adult is allowed or required to do versus what a student is allowed to required to do. I don’t think it’s a double standard, I think it’s a basic “we are grown ups and (should) know how to responsibly do ___” idea. It seems like a sense of entitlement that parents would expect their child to have the same rules and/or privileges as adults.



Last edited by MissESL; 09-02-2019 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:11 PM
 
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We just had a recent rant on a FB page about student dress codes. If students have to wear uniforms, so should teachers
I think this attitude that kids have the same "rights" as adults is a big issue in our society all the way around.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:12 PM
 
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I agree with you. One HS in my neighborhood recently went from an open campus lunch (students could leave and go to restaurants, home, etc.) to closed campus. Not surprisingly, they were having all sorts of issues with what kids were doing unsupervised during that time. There was a lot of nonsense on social media with people making comments about how it was "unfair" that the teachers could still leave during their lunch. Umm, when you're an adult, then you can also make your own decisions about lunch.

Teachers having the same rules as children makes zero sense and it's a big pet peeve of mine when people think it's acceptable for teachers to be held to children's rules just because we teach children. Thankfully this isn't a huge issue where I am now, but in my hometown I was constantly hearing about how teachers couldn't be seen in public having a drink or putting anything on social media with a drink in your hand, etc. Lots of pearl clutching and, "But you teach children!" Okay...so I have to act like one?
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:15 PM
 
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Double standard is a non issue. I’m the adult. My students are not.

But the cell phone policy is totally unacceptable to me. The fear and possibility of a shooter is too frequent. I want my students to have their phones.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:22 PM
 
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Why are you against being drug tested? Why are you against not using a cell phone while working?

In some ways I agree with the sentiment. Given we had a few administrators in our district go to jail for selling and using drugs and for porn, abusing students, etc it shows just being an adult shouldn't give anyone a pass or special privileges. Being an adult doesn't mean he or she won't be participating in what students are being suspected of. I would think the straight laced student who wanted to join a sport, a club, or had to drive to school for after school work or other reason would be equally offended to having to be drug tested as would any adult. There are also many teachers who are distracted by their phones when they should be focusing on teaching. If there is a phone in their room that will ring during class time or the ability for someone to get a message to the teacher, there is no reason for a cell phone in the classroom.


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Old 09-02-2019, 03:59 PM
 
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So who is thinking kids should have the same rights as adults? The students or the parents?

If it's the parents, I'd like to be a fly on the wall and see just how that works in the homes of those parents! Their kids on the same level/having the same rights as the parents? That wouldn't work at home, so why would they expect it to work in the schools?

As far as drug testing teachers? I'm all for random drug testing for many workers/ professions after watching the nightly news. One never can know who might be abusing drugs now and how it can affect the safety of others.

I'm undecided about the phone thing. I wish students would have enough sense, maturity, and conscience to know when and when not to be on the phone during school hours, but nope, guess not!
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
In some ways I agree with the sentiment. Given we had a few administrators in our district go to jail for selling and using drugs and for porn, abusing students, etc it shows just being an adult shouldn't give anyone a pass or special privileges.
Adults and students are not equals. As another poster already said, adults can usually be responsible. Students are still learning, so they often make bad decisions. If a person thinks teachers should follow all the rules the children have to follow, the children will have no respect for the teachers. That's actually becoming a huge problem. Students think they should be completely equal to the teachers. Definitely not. If a teacher actually does make a bad decision, there will be consequences, but they certainly shouldn't have to follow rules for students.

Mds2, you should really register on PT instead of posting as a guest all the time.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:35 PM
 
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I’m not against it. If I were asked to, I’d have to...
And I leave my own cellphone in my car.

What I object to is that I should be held to the same rules as the children I teach. I thought that was clear.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:37 PM
 
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It is the parents who object. The majority of the comments come from other adults in the community.

Many students don’t see it as a big deal. Many of my own students say they know it’s something that happens in a lot of places, so what if they have to be tested, too? There’s a huge protocol in place. It’s random, conducted by an outside company, etc.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:44 PM
 
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All teachers are drug tested here, so that’s not an issue.

Our students are allowed to have their phones on them, but they cannot use them without teacher permission. Sometimes parents get huffy when a phone is taken. I use my phone as a timer or to photograph work or sometimes check a text from a teacher if we are away from the classroom.

Dress code is where we get most grief. Our school has the most strict dress code in the district, but it is still quite lenient. Whenever kids pull the “why can’t we wear X”, I point out all the things they can wear that we can’t, like shorts, flip flops, sweat pants, etc.

I also remind them that there are different rules for adults and kids. They can’t drive. They can’t rent a car. They can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes. They can’t do all kinds of things. Such is the way of the world.


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The flawed thinking is that kids have the...
Old 09-02-2019, 05:45 PM
 
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same rights as adults.

I don't want cell phones in class. Students cannot learn when they have them. I try to control them but it's like herding cats. The phones are never about their safety. The phones are their social hub and FOMO.

On the other hand, teachers are supposed to be professionals even though some refuse to see them that way (including some on PT). I have my cell phone in my class. I mostly use my watch to monitor emails, but there are times when I must use my cell phone to respond when my computer is tied up in instruction.

As for the claim that many teachers are distracted by their cell phone I would have no way of knowing that. I am in my room teaching. I'm not roaming the halls monitoring other teachers. And if I did see a teacher on a cell phone I would assume that person is using it as I use mine.

My school is supposedly moving towards lockers to have students lock up their phones. I've seen stories about other schools locking up all phones when students come into campus. Good for them. Something has to be done. I can teach when the phones are out, but the students cannot learn.

In California I understand something has passed where cell phone use can be a suspendible offense. I'd really like to see legislation banning them FROM kids on campus.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:09 PM
 
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I even have to tell 10 year old 5th graders that children and adults do not have the same rights. Honestly I don't think the parents teach that anymore. Special Suzie should always get what she wants and if she doesn't it's not fair.....Why would you want your child to think that you are on the same level? You're not. When kids move out and pay their own bills and are over the age of 18 or 21, then they can have adult rights.

Both of my kids have been athletes and know they can be drug tested at any time. My son was chosen 4 times one year. No big deal.
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Old 09-02-2019, 11:08 PM
 
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I was actually required to have my phone with me and on so I was reachable on the playground and/or anywhere in the building that wasn't my own classroom. It was also another safety layer. I never had it on prior to that rule - and yes it was my personal phone I was required to have and use. I understood on one hand, but felt put upon on the other. We probably could have grieved it through the union, but it was better than having to carry a walkie talkie.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:32 AM
 
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I guess I just believe there are some special privileges that come with being an adult and other things don't fall under that umbrella.

I see drug testing, as explained in the original post, as a huge invasion of privacy even though I don't do drugs. I see that as an invasion of privacy for the same reason for students as adults. Worse yet, they are limiting testing to just those who want to enrich themselves by being in a club or sport. We aren't talking about testing all students to ensure they aren't using drugs that will impact learning.

Honestly, I see drug testing teachers as more important than testing students since teachers are in a safety position in addition to a teaching position. They are responsible for always being "on" for the safety of students, not just their learning. It could be said that adults have more responsibility than students, in the function of safety, and therefore have an elevated role that the students do not have. This makes drug testing different than just a deterrent tool/punishment tool as is being done to the students. So, if you look at how drug testing is used in the workforce, drug testing a teacher is actually more important than testing students.

It isn't equal in any way. It isn't about a special privilege for being an adult. Is it really true most adults are more responsible or are they able to hide what they do easier because society sees them as having the special privilege of not being watched as closely and being trusted more?

As for the phone, I did put stipulations on it. If there is a phone in the classroom, there is no reason for a personal cell phone. Walkie talkies can work for playground use. That is what our schools have done for a very long time. Even the idea that there is an e-mail that must be answered while teaching or giving instruction using the computer just shows that complete focus isn't on teaching. What is there that can't wait until instruction is over or there is a break? We just got used to having to respond like Pavlov's dogs every time something pings us. So, thank you for showing that focus is diverted away from teaching because the cell phone is in the classroom even though it is being used to check e-mail.

I guess I just don't see the items described as something deserving of "special adult privilege". Now, forcing teachers to wear uniforms because policy changes to make students. That is a different story barring a safety problem within the school. Then it may become a safety issue to differentiate between staff and the random adult who is in the school, but unless the uniform has special logos on it and no one has access to the clothing, that would just be a weak safety policy.

So, are there privileges for adults that students don't have? Sure. Do these qualify? Not in my opinion.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:05 AM
 
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I agree with everybody saying that students aren’t entitled to the same things as the adults.

I teach elementary so it’s a little different than high school. That being said... my cell phone is used for many things school related during the day. I use it for Dojo, as a timer, to take photos of students work, etc. I also have alarms for when students need to go specific places.

Do I use it for personal reasons?

Yes. I’m an adult and do communicate with people on my phone as needed. I have had to leave school due to an emergency before and was contacted on my phone.

Anybody with kids would need to be reachable... going through the front office would be a mess. I can’t even always get through to the office from my classroom sometimes.

Who does an 8 year old need to talk through during the school day?? I understand the need for kids who are home alone after school (and I have some who are) or who go between homes. But, they stay in their backpacks.

I actually had a kid pull out her cell phone and text her mom a few days ago... the school had no working number and mom didn’t answer when we did get the number. I needed mom to know the kid would be on the bus as her after school activity was canceled. She answered the text right away. I wouldn’t normally do it but needed mom to know she’d be on the bus and we had been trying to get ahold of her all day.

Last edited by Lilbitkm; 09-03-2019 at 05:23 AM..
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:01 AM
 
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I also remind them that there are different rules for adults and kids. They can’t drive. They can’t rent a car. They can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes. They can’t do all kinds of things. Such is the way of the world.
This. To parents who complain about a "double standard" I would say "So then, you don't do anything that your children aren't allowed to do?"

As for drug testing, I don't have a problem with it. Some districts in my area require that teachers - all school employees, actually - be drug tested as a condition of employment. I think it's reasonable to drug test students involved in co-curriculars, too. Although, honestly, I don't know why any organization bothers when synthetic urine is legal and pretty easy to procure in most areas. I would just about guarantee that there are coaches who actively direct their talented players (participants) about where to get it.

I'm shocked that any parent would think that, if students can't have cell phones, teachers shouldn't either. Yes, I've seen teachers be very unprofessional about their cell phone usage. But, where I work we are urged to keep our cellphones near us at all times. In the event of an active shooter, they are our best chance for imparting needed, possibly life-saving information to law enforcement. Of course, you can put forth the same argument for why older students should be allowed to keep cellphones with them, too.

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Who does an 8 year old need to talk through during the school day??
Nobody, but my grandson carries a cell phone in his backpack and has done since he was 8. It's there mainly because his dad and I alternate school pick-up duties and we both have somewhat irregular schedules. It is really only used to communicate changes to his pick-up procedure to him and as a safeguard should we ever have a miscommunication about who is picking him up. That has never happened but DGS is a worrier.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:56 AM
 
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Given we had a few administrators in our district go to jail for selling and using drugs and for porn, abusing students, etc
First of all, on what other job would all employees be banned from phone use because of the actions of a few? Let me save you some time...NONE!!!

Second of all, apply this logic to every day Life. Let's say I'm a habitual speeder and lose my license. Should we take away the license of all drivers?

Group punishments don't work!!!!!
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:31 PM
 
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"First of all, on what other job would all employees be banned from phone use because of the actions of a few? Let me save you some time...NONE!!!"

Yes, many company policies are because of the actions of a few. Just google and you will find a lot of information about templates to write policies limiting or banning cell phone use on company time. I don't think that people just spend their time writing about this for nothing.

At schools there are examples of how a few impact all of the others.
Many schools now require teachers to go to the office and check-in in the morning because some teachers were coming in late. Some schools stopped the ability of teachers to leave campus at lunch because some weren't coming back on time. Other districts require doctor's notes for sick time because of the abuse of a few.

Actually I would say that many policies at workplaces are because of poor behavior by a small group of people.
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Lots to consider...
Old 09-04-2019, 07:11 AM
 
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I can't resist weighing in... it's an interesting world that we live in. (It might be time to read "Lord of the Flies" again.)

One important consideration is that drug test and cell phone policies are not "punishments" as some have implied. They are policies implemented (hopefully) to achieve an objective such as a drug-free environment and a distraction-free classroom.

Double standard? For those who are familiar with "Lord of the Flies" are we suggesting that "All pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others?"

I firmly believe the gap between students and staff is often too wide. Instead of thinking of "students" we might do well to remember they are younger and often smaller humans. We might also ask why our expectations of them should be different than our expectations of ourselves. There are times when they should be different but we all should be participating in the problem-solving process.

Policies are adopted in part to create consistency and a harmonious society--their purpose is not to create fairness. In these cases, the purpose is to create a drug-free environment and a distraction-free classroom.

Personally, I would have no problem submitting to a drug-test--in fact, I'd be willing to line up with the students. We are all in this together.

I happen to carry my cell phone (my version of concealed carry because it stays out of sight) but I only use it in an emergency and even then, try not to use it in front of students. And "calling home to check on something" is not an example of an emergency. Other staff use their phone freely in front of students, sometimes as a timer... but I've had trouble getting an ed tech's attention while she was using her phone. (Parents had complained about this very ed tech posting on Facebook during work hours.) Adults like to argue that kids don't use their phones responsibly. Well, neither do some adults.

Where technology is concerned, we ALL are grouping at some level because it outpaces our understanding and use.

Lastly, the key to this might also be that policies should be living documents--that is, as situations and circumstances change, so do policies. Our cell phone policy often changes several times during the year... tightening and loosening, depending on how we're doing.
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:09 PM
 
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My son is severely disabled (spastic quad cerebral palsy). His feeding tube into his stomach was accidently pulled out while he was at school the other day. They tried to reach me but I didn't know it because my phone was off so it wouldn't ring during class. He ended up in the emergency room. They finally were able to get a hold of my husband, who went. He is also a teacher.

I decíded that I would have my ringer on during class from now on. I told my students about my son, and that I would only answer if it was his school calling. They totally understood. No one calls me anyway so my phone doesn't ring hardly at all, lol.
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Old 09-04-2019, 01:15 PM
 
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Pindle, I am so sorry to hear that happened to your son.

Why didn't they call the school (your workplace number) rather than your personal cell phone since you were at work?
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Old 09-04-2019, 04:34 PM
 
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I don't know why...they have the number but for whatever reason they didn't. I just can't take the chance that something like that will happen again.
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