Peach Grove GA (TWP)
Peach Grove Public Schools has reportedly initiated a new technology and electronic policy for the next school year. The policy is detailed in a 168-page document that explains the rules governing the use of all digital and electronic devices in the school, including cell phones, I-pods, I-pads, I-peds (electronic sneakers), and I-ponds (digital water bottles).
Superintendent Jordan Eslinger noted that the district needed to “revamp our policies on the appropriate use of electronic devices so that we might enter the 21st century digital paradigm.” The district’s policies came under fire when high school geometry teacher Sheryl Newley was reprimanded for allowing a student to use her phone to look up a word in dictionary.com.
Said Newley, who had given up policing the use of the phones to text and check Facebook status, “Our policy of confiscating the phones was not working. Plus, the last time I held out my hand for a student’s phone, he slammed it down on my palm, and I had to get stitches.” Instead of suspending Newley, who had a $1,838 hospital bill that she presented to the school, the board issued a reprimand.
Within days of Newley’s wounding, grade school teacher Bob Treat was also reprimanded for having his students create google-sites for posting written work and interacting with one another. One of his students had apparently said that another student was a “poo-poo brain,” and the victim’s parents were notified when another student texted his mom, who posted the comment on Facebook, which another mom saw and emailed the victim’s mom.
“The class period wasn’t even over yet, when I had a call from the office,” Treat said. “At the end of the hour I review what they have written before they leave, and we discuss appropriate comments and revision and do last-minute editing. But I didn’t even get that chance.”
The poo-poo brain’s mother said the comment “will probably destroy my son’s self-esteem and future chances of becoming a brain surgeon. How could their teacher let this happen?”
Eslinger, who teachers tell TWP, has been known to send vague email missives about how teachers need to be using technology in the classroom with accompanying links to sites that are usually blocked by the school software, said that computers and other electronic devices will not be banned from the school, since “we need to teach these kids computer stuff.” But he added, “We will have to do this in a one-on-one, case-by-case basis that will ensure individualized attention, retention, and . . . uh . . . prevention.”
When TWP asked for information on at least a few of the damn policies, Eslinger said, “The details will ensure that students are monitored and that public discourse will remain respectful and appropriate.”
Asked to explain what this would mean in the classroom, Eslinger tightened his sphincter to under a millimeter and said, “We’ll be addressing that in a future meeting.”
As of this date, the 168-page document, which a middle school teacher accidentally picked up with testing booklets that had been sitting on the principal’s desk, has not been distributed to students or teachers. The unnamed teacher wrote about the document on an anonymous teacher blog, which is pending a Georgia State Education Department investigation.