After a cell phone rang in one of my high school classes two days in a row, I now begin classes with the same announcements made before the start of a theatrical performance: "Ladies and gentlemen, please turn off your cell phones and your pagers, and put the food away because when you eat in class it sounds like this," as I crinkle an empty potato chip bag. They respond by complying.
As for the two young ladies who received the calls--one from her grandmother and the other from her boyfriend--I sent them to the office with a discipline referral in hand for "class disruption." Their embarrassment was probably punishment enough, but they also received three detentions and a notation on their file in the office.
If parents really need to check up on the whereabouts of their kids, I would think a land phone would be necessary. Call the school attendance office and ask whether so-and-so is in class. The cell phone could be at the beach!
"Schools' Cell Phone Ban May End" (Feb. 8) is right on, of course. There are so many cell phones on my high school campus that the law is impossible to enforce without metal detectors, and that wouldn't do any good either. The kids would just pass them to each other through the fence. It's time for the schools to come up to the 21st century. We had drug dealers on campuses long before the cell phone.