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April 01, 2002  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Judgment Call - GameBoys

Should operators have a formal policy against GameBoys, cell phones and other electronic devices on their school buses? Do you have a formal policy? If so, how do you enforce it?

Finders, keepers The policy on my bus is: If I catch you with one, I get to keep it. Of course, I would give it to the parents, but I’m not telling the kids that. I made this policy because the kids were stealing from each other and fighting about them. I also “collect” Pokemon and Digimon cards for the same reasons. Bruce Cram, bus driver Martin, Ga. If they’re quiet, it’s OK This reminds me of a conversation I had one day with some folks who were adamant about students not having any type of electronic device on the bus. The rationale was the students who were using them would not be as alert and would not be paying attention to the driver. I then asked what a driver was supposed to do if a student fell asleep or was reading a book. These really smart people said it was OK if a student fell asleep or was reading a book. When I asked what was the difference between a student sleeping or a student playing with a GameBoy as to being alert and paying attention, I got the 1,000-mile stare. As to a policy, I do not have one. In fact, if a GameBoy keeps the student quiet and not disrupting the bus, then what the heck, let them play. Bus rides can be long and hot where I am located, if a GameBoy or a CD player keeps the students from being a problem, then I am all for it. Mark Kelley Guam Confiscate electronic toys When I was still driving full time, and not in the office, I used to threaten to confiscate anything that caused an argument or debate amongst the students. I not only threatened to confiscate the item, but to sell it on eBay, and if they wanted it back they would have to bid on it. All proceeds were to benefit the “Keep the Bus Driver Sane” fund. While there obviously is no such fund, and I would never sell their toys, I had some gullible students who believed me! Problem solved. Brian J. Whitta, driver Fostoria (Ohio) Community Schools Theft of items is problem Because the high school administrators were spending too much time dealing with stolen cell phones, pagers, Walkmans and the like, they are no longer permitted on campus. The kids seem to get away with carrying these items in their backpacks, though. Some elementary schools ban GameBoys, Pokemon and other such items for the same reasons. John Farr, transportation director Oceanside (Calif.) Unified School District Not disruptive, no problem I see no reason a student should not be allowed to have a Walkman with headphones. It keeps them quiet and they don’t cause problems. Video games that make noise are another matter. Logan Green, student Spencerport, N.Y.

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