It’s not just a cell phone

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Returning to yesterday’s topic, I want to emphasize a key point: Those cell phone dust-ups are not victimless crimes. All the kids in that classroom lost a considerable amount of learning time to that girl’s refusal to obey her teacher, I am sure not for the first time. News reports tend to trivialize the infraction here. It’s not a large infraction in the sense that the girl did not throw her Principal to the floor or smack her teacher across the face. Let’s be clear though: what she did was to hijack her classroom, so that all learning ground to a halt.

Poor and urban schools suffer academically from these shenanigans regularly. Government reports document a much higher average rate of disciplinary referrals in these schools. The activities that lead to these referrals are NOT victimless offenses. Five minutes here, five minutes there and pretty soon hours of the academic week have disappeared, stolen from students who need that time much more than their counterparts in calmer zip codes.