Will cell phones be banned at Madison schools?

During classroom instruction?

You can hear the frustration in the text message from yet another teacher in Madison’s public schools — this one at Memorial high school.

Dear Parent,

I’m reaching out to beg you to have a conversation with your student about cell phone use during class. Since returning from my parental leave, I’ve been hopelessly fighting with students about using cell phones during direct instruction and class activities. Many students are using their phones to play games or watch videos during the entirety of the class period. Students often have headphones on or air pods in while I’m leading the class …  sometimes I wonder if they even notice that I’m in the room.

Her plea follows a newspaper letter from two former school board members (both of the liberal Democratic pesuasion) who served before critical race theory took over our schools. Whereupon, the Head Groundskeeper posed the following interrogatory to the newest school board member, Laura Simkin, elected in April 2022:

Laura, are you going to put up before the school board a policy that cell phones [or smart phones] must be turned in before the beginning of the school day and be returned at the end of the school day? Ms. Simkin, it does not matter if you have enough votes. You need to put it up and call the roll.

Laura Simkin showed that she IS listening. She responded today:

Thanks for reaching out with this question. I will either be proposing or supporting an enforceable policy that eliminates the presence of student cell phones in classes.

It’s not just students ignoring their teachers. Seems to be district policy to ignore the taxpayer. Wisconsin State Journal reports, “For the second time in less than two weeks, the Madison School District is being sued over its response to a public records request.”

The conservative Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, or WILL, filed suit Thursday asking a judge to order the district to release staff training materials entitled “LGBTQA+ 101.” The suit comes after the district’s teachers union, Madison Teachers Inc., filed suit May 9 alleging the district violated Wisconsin’s public records law by failing to fulfill a Nov. 3 records request for information on staff benefits and contracts.

Blaska Policy Werkes still awaits a school district response to our request for information; that being: Restorative Justice is now eight years old. It is working? What do the measurable show, if any? That request was made back in February.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Change comes slowly but never unless you push. This would be the first hint of student discipline in who knows how long?

Can you hear us now?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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10 Responses to Will cell phones be banned at Madison schools?

  1. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    To paraphrase Don Corleone: Listen, Whoever Defends Students Having Cell Phones On During Class, They’re The Traitors. Don’t Forget That.

    The Gotch

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter Anderson says:

    For our school’s sake, it is vital to distinguish symptoms from the disease.
    Yes allowing cell phone usage in classrooms is disastrous.
    But, no, ending the practice would not be remotely sufficient to restore a learning environment in the District’s schools.
    It is the fact that the District and Board have made it impossible for teachers to discipline that is the disease that must be cured, and eliminating one little symptom like cell phones will do nothing to that end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Richard Cranium says:

    Madison voters had a chance to begin to make changes on the Madison school board last month.
    They didn’t show up.

    MMSD is run by Freedom Inc & Urban Triage; prove this wrong.

    The only SMALL change on the school board was a lesser of 2 evils who has already backed off from a campaign promise.

    Madison, you DESERVE who you vote for, or DONT vote for.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    “eliminating one little symptom like cell phones will do nothing to that end.”

    From what The Gotch has read, teachers (the brave ones who’ll speak out, or those who prefer anonymity out of fear of being savaged, or worse) don’t see cell phone usage as a “little symptom.”

    The number of behavioral incidents due to cell phone usage in class isn’t insignificant, is it? They sure were a major component in the Mr. Rob/Whitehorse MS incident**

    And if that’s the case, wouldn’t eliminating them remove any number of potential confrontations between student and teacher, ergo, creating a net positive?

    **Glass half full?

    That cluster-phuque sealed the well-deserved fate of Jennifer Cheatham,THE_WORST_INFLUENCE on MMSD EVAH!

    The Gotch

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Montgomery Scott says:

    You would think the MMSD board would rush to institute a ban on smartphones in the classroom since if the students are supposed to leave their smartphones in their lockers, how would they be able to record videos of the in school altercations that get leaked?


  6. georgessson says:

    At what point were cell phones EVER OK to bring to school? My firm belief (on-going rant) is that when middle schools and HS stopped enforcing dress codes, one of many small restrictions, the end of civilization (literally) was near. Those little nit-picky rules and regs were easy to abide by, and offered students a simple way to learn that life has limits. Now? Cell ‘phones have transcended the importance of teaching; cell phones are a current “hot-button” issue -NEVER mind the downward crawling of the DPI statistics…

    I am honestly curious as to how this possibility ever became a reality…


  7. Bill Cleary says:

    Boy are these kids will ever be in for a shock once they enter into the work world. Many corporations do not allow the use of personal cell phones while at work.


    • Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

      “Boy are these kids will ever be in for a shock once they enter into the work world.”

      Mark The Gotch’s words: Inability to use cell phones in the “work world” will be the very least of these coddled pr*ck’s concerns!

      The Gotch


    • David Blaska says:

      Echoing the immortal wisdom of Maynard G. Krebs: “WORK!!!!”


    • One eye says:

      What corporations are those? In my experience desk job workers are as bad or worse than the kids in schools. It’s also a lot of personal internet usage.


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