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It's unacceptable

Posted: August 11, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Regarding "Me? Addicted? Not a chance," (Aug. 7): Jim Ozella's description of his Tuesday history class at Hart High School added another check mark to the perpetual discussion on "why are our schools failing to educate our youth?"

As a resident of Newhall since 1974, the education of my three sons has been a full-time commitment. When my last two sons entered the wonderful world of technology and took their cell phones to school so we could be in touch with them after a catastrophic disaster or a lockdown at Pitchess Detention Center, it was a home and school rule that cell phones would stay in the backpack during class. Kind of like the rules of no gum chewing or pizza eating unless you brought it for the whole class. I think it had something to do with learning a subject (i.e. the more time you actually spent concentrating on what was being taught, the more you learned).

What is going on? Have I been asleep at the wheel? When has it become acceptable to use cell phones, chew gum and eat pizza in class?

Mr. Ozella is probably a very good teacher, and I am hopefully waiting for his follow-up column telling us this class is an anomaly, and the classroom freedoms are only being allowed as a comparative study of how to do it wrong.

I know I am a bit old fashioned. My sons and all of the players whom I have coached were, and are, required to wear their caps with bills facing forward. Yes sir, is a given. A handshake is firm and is done looking straight into someone's eyes. More importantly, there is a consequence when you don't.

What is the consequence for schools and teachers who continually fail to teach to the best of their abilities? I know: tenure, life pensions and full health care benefits. If there is not enough to do all of that, we can always have another bond measure.


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