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Old 05-08-2004   #1
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Teacher, principal confiscate cell phone and read messages

They'll read your diary too!



Christopher Klump brings his cell phone to school. That's okay as long as it's kept put away and turned off. Christopher has a bad habit of not following that particular restriction. ON March 17, teacher Shawn Kimberly Kocher saw him with the phone and confiscated it. She then helped Assistant Vice Principal Marge Grube commit identity theft.
When the Klumps first spoke to Grube, they say, she acknowledged that she conducted a cell phone sting of sorts, calling nine students whose numbers Christopher stored in his phone. Later that night, though, when Leigh Klump looked at the online records for her son's cell phone account, she learned Grube had done much more. The records showed the calls Grube made. They also showed Grube tapped into Christopher's voice mail and text messages — and had even sent a message, pretending to be Christopher, to their younger son.

Grube's excuse for the sting was a suspicion of drug activity based on a text message that came to the phone from Christopher's girlfriend saying that she needed a tampon. "Tampon" is slang for a fat marijuana joint. It's also common parlance for a feminine hygiene product. In this case the actual usage was for the hygiene product (Christopher was able to procure one for her - now that's a boyfriend). The message had also been received the day before the confiscation, not while it was in Grube's possession. Grube and Kocher encountered that message only by rifling through the phone.
''If there was independent evidence that there was reasonable suspicion of drug dealing going on, perhaps the violation of the student's strong privacy interests in his phone could be justified,'' Raskin said in an e-mail. ''But this seems like a real stretch.'' Steve Edwards, a former principal in Hartford, Conn., now vice president of the National Crime Prevention Council, had a similar feeling on the issue.

''I would think that would be crossing the line,'' he said. ''If there's reasonable cause, you can search a locker, but that's school property. On occasion as a principal, I would ask a student to empty their pockets or purse. But to take someone's cell phone and start looking at messages? I don't know. Where does it stop?''

The school system refuses to admit that Grube and Kocher committed any wrongdoing. The Klumps have decided to sue the school district.
The Klumps' attorney, Prendergast, said the couple decided to file the lawsuits because district officials haven't apologized for Grube's and Kocher's actions and have not, to their knowledge, disciplined them. ''We hold students to a certain standard,'' Prendergast said. ''It is hypocritical for us not to hold educators to the same standard.…If Christopher or any other student had broken the law and school policy, they would have been disciplined.''

School officials said school code and union policy forbids public discussion of staff discipline.

Still, in a letter to Prendergast, Moritz wrote that the request for punishment would ''be taken under advisement and at the very least, required attendance at a student rights workshop will be forthcoming.''

The district also promised that the Klumps' younger son will not be assigned to Grube when he goes to the high school.

It seems unlikely that the Klumps will be satisfied with those actions.

The Klumps aren't asking for public discussion of staff discipline. I'm sure they would be perfectly satisfied with a private meeting that included an apology and assurance that Grube and Kocher understand what they did was wrong and steps have been taken to make sure that it doesn't happen again. That's really the minimum that we expect when disciplining our kids isn't it? Is it so wrong to hold these educators to the same minimum standards?

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Off with their heads!!!!!
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Old 05-08-2004   #2
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I would be so damn piss if that happened to me
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Old 05-08-2004   #3
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gaahhh, its things like that that make me very happy to no longer have to go to the hell hole called high school. For some reason, teachers are under the impresion they are the law, and that as minors, the students are under their complete control. Yes they can enforce rules... and maybe do the ocasional TEACHING, but they have no right to invade anyones privacy.
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Old 05-08-2004   #4
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Unfortunatelyy most schools have a very vague policy, if any, towards cell phones. That gives tthe teachers the idea that they can use their judgement, which is obviously not the best thing to trust
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Old 05-08-2004   #5
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that would make me so maD!!!
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Old 05-08-2004   #6
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I'd so be using the words ****er and bitches alot. Not like casually, but blatantly. Then again I have little on my phone. I'd still call them names and make masturbation gestures with my hands telling them to also suck it.
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Old 05-08-2004   #7
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invasion of privacy, consfication of cell phones is allowed in certain situations but the content is still th eproperty of the owner and cannot be looked at legally without express interest fromthe owener by any outside party.

at least thats the rulez here.
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