Florida Teacher Jams Kids' Cellphones, Is Suspended

District unamused, suspends him for 5 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 3, 2015 11:05 AM CDT
Fla. Teacher's Fix for Kids' Cell Phones: Signal Jammer
A Florida science teacher found a creative fix for this. The administration wasn't such a fan.   (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)

A Florida science teacher has been suspended for running a signal jammer to prevent his students from using their cellphones in class. School board members in Pasco County approved Dean Liptak's five-day unpaid suspension yesterday. Liptak didn't contest the decision. Officials say Liptak activated the jammer in his Fivay High School classroom from March 31 through April 2. Verizon techs found the jammer, a district rep tells the Tampa Tribune, after they walked the school with a device that could detect a jammer. "It honed in on his classroom," she says. "The whole time, they thought it was a kid."

Liptak later told a school district investigator that he never intended to cause problems. He said he thought the jammers were allowed as long as they were not intended for malicious purposes. Superintendent Kurt Browning wrote in a reprimand letter that Liptak had potentially violated federal law and that the signal jamming could have potentially interfered with others trying to call 911 during an emergency. "Since the incident happened, so, so, so many teachers have come up to me and said that they were thinking of getting one and using it in their classroom," Liptak wrote to the school. "I told them, 'No, don't do that! They're not allowed.'" (More cell phones stories.)

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