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Author Topic: Interfering With Elementary School Age Hams  (Read 24464 times)
K6DPF
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« on: September 20, 2014, 07:55:18 PM »

Good day to all.

I am looking for any information I can use at my kids school district regarding Licensed Amateur Radio Operators. Specifically forcing them to stop using their equipment.


Background:

My two daughters (elementary school age) were using their HT's to try and contact me regarding my ETA to their school. They are licensed (Technician).
While attempting to make contact the schools vice principal told them to put the radios away. mean while other kids were allowed to use their cell phones to do the very same thing. My kids do not use nor possess cell phones. This incident also occurred after the final bell had rang.

I would appreciate any code sections that I can take to the district, and educated them.

My kids do have the full support of their teacher to have them, and they needed and used them two weeks when their school suffered a blackout of more than 2 hours.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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K6DPF
KF6QEX
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Posts: 605




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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 09:31:50 PM »

This sounds more like a case of a vice-principal with a case of moron-itis.

The school must have some sort of a student/parent handbook they hand out at the beginning of each year. Somewhere before or after the dress code section there should be a blurb about "mobile cell phones" and or other devices. Take a look and then....
make an appointment with the Principal regarding "the incident" .

Principals don't like "incidents" especially when they initiated by school staff. (they have to do paperwork !)
Depending on how that goes, then you can worry about the district.

In addition a handy phrase to teach your daughters to use in the meantime is, "foggetaboutit" or in more common English, "No". A useful phrase for any kid to have handy.

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W1JKA
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 01:10:45 AM »

  Get hold of the school board members ( the final authority) and set up a meeting to discuss the issue.
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K6DPF
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 01:41:55 AM »

  Get hold of the school board members ( the final authority) and set up a meeting to discuss the issue.


Thanks for the response. I am already doing this.
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K6DPF
AA4PB
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 06:18:48 AM »

Personally, I'd try to work with the Principal first - before going over his head to the school board. He and the vice-Principal probably have no clue what those radios are. You should explain that your daughters took and passed an FCC exam in order to receive a license to operate the radios. Explain what they use them for and that you feel that they should be able to use the radios anywhere that students are permitted to use their cell phones.

If you start out by going directly to the school board and win then you risk leaving your daughters having to deal with an unhappy Principal every day. It's much better if you can get the Principal to make the decision.
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K6DPF
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 09:29:07 AM »

Personally, I'd try to work with the Principal first - before going over his head to the school board. He and the vice-Principal probably have no clue what those radios are. You should explain that your daughters took and passed an FCC exam in order to receive a license to operate the radios. Explain what they use them for and that you feel that they should be able to use the radios anywhere that students are permitted to use their cell phones.

If you start out by going directly to the school board and win then you risk leaving your daughters having to deal with an unhappy Principal every day. It's much better if you can get the Principal to make the decision.

Thanks you for your response.
I actually have spoken with the vice principal already.
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K6DPF
KG6AF
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Posts: 361




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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 11:13:48 AM »

Personally, I'd try to work with the Principal first - before going over his head to the school board. He and the vice-Principal probably have no clue what those radios are. You should explain that your daughters took and passed an FCC exam in order to receive a license to operate the radios. Explain what they use them for and that you feel that they should be able to use the radios anywhere that students are permitted to use their cell phones.

If you start out by going directly to the school board and win then you risk leaving your daughters having to deal with an unhappy Principal every day. It's much better if you can get the Principal to make the decision.

Thanks you for your response.
I actually have spoken with the vice principal already.

And what did the vice principal say?
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K6DPF
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 12:36:38 PM »

Personally, I'd try to work with the Principal first - before going over his head to the school board. He and the vice-Principal probably have no clue what those radios are. You should explain that your daughters took and passed an FCC exam in order to receive a license to operate the radios. Explain what they use them for and that you feel that they should be able to use the radios anywhere that students are permitted to use their cell phones.

If you start out by going directly to the school board and win then you risk leaving your daughters having to deal with an unhappy Principal every day. It's much better if you can get the Principal to make the decision.

Thanks you for your response.
I actually have spoken with the vice principal already.

And what did the vice principal say?
"I will email the district to see what they say"

Mind you the school policy says cell phones may be used, "after school hours." Which this was.

To be fair to the school I have always told the kids you will not use, or take the radios out during school hours unless it is an emergency, or after school.
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K6DPF
KB3VWG
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2014, 07:38:26 AM »

I'm not sure how the structure of your school district works, but going to your School Board member is going WAY over the Principal's head (there's usually one or two assistant superintendents, plus the superintendent somewhere in the ranks). If this was the Vice-Principal (who is usually in charge of discipline), I would make sure that there's no violation of the school rules first (as others suggested, check the school district's student manual).

Next, be mindful, the school system has the right to ensure the safety of all students (including instructing them to refrain from certain behaviors while on school property) - I don't know the nature of when and where they used the HT's, what they said, etc. but to a non-Ham, I can see where someone would think they're just playing on a Walkie Talkie. A Ham license is not blanket permission for them to disobey school authority while on campus in regards to radio transmissions.

It's interesting you bring this up; because there was another similar incident discussed in the Ham threads before, a teenaged ham had his HT confiscated while on school property.
http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?426629-Radio-confiscation

Keep traveling to that truth, sir, hope all works out...it's good young folk are interested in the craft of ham radio. Seems like an educational moment is in order for everyone.  Wink
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K5TED
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 02:50:21 PM »

IUSD rules state:

"Therefore, students shall be permitted to have in their possession a privately owned electronic signaling/recording device on campus during the school day, while attending school-sponsored activities, or while under the supervision and control of a school district employee. Such devices shall be deactivated and remain out of sight. Their use shall be strictly prohibited on campus during the instructional day, as defined by the designated bell schedule for the day, excluding zero period, except:
• during an emergency affecting the school or community;
• upon direction from a licensed physician and surgeon, if carrying such a device is essential to, and the use is limited specifically to, the health of the student;
• within a classroom environment where the teacher gives specific permission to use a specific capability of a device.
Electronic signaling devices include any device that operates through the transmission or receipt of radio or infrared waves, including, but not limited to pagers, cellular telephones, two-way radios, PDAs, and cameras (still or video)."


Furthermore, from a 2002 article:

The Irvine school board ended a ban on student use of cell phones and pagers with a unanimous 5-0 vote Tuesday night.

Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation last month allowing districts to permit the use of "electronic signaling devices," banned since 1988 after fears that students would use them to make drug deals.

Cell phones are now seen as essential during emergencies--such as the school shootings in Littleton, Colo., and Santee, Calif.--because they enable students to contact parents and officials.

Irvine Unified's policy allows students to use cell phones, pagers and two-way radios during lunch and extracurricular activities, and in an emergency or in any circumstance under which a doctor determines the device is essential to the student's health. The devices would be turned off at other times.

http://articles.latimes.com/2002/oct/02/local/me-cells2

and:

ELECTRONIC SIGNALINGAND RECORDING DEVICES
The Irvine Unified School District acknowledges the importance of electronic communication between students and parents, particularly in school-wide emergency situations. Further, the District recognizes that instructional time is precious and must be protected from unnecessary disruption.
Therefore, students shall be permitted to have in their possession a privately owned electronic signaling/recording device on campus during the school day, while attending school-sponsored activities, or while under the supervision and control of a school district employee. Such devices shall be deactivated and remain out of sight. Their use shall be strictly prohibited on campus during the instructional day, as defined by the designated bell schedule for the day, excluding zero period, except:
• during an emergency affecting the school or community;
• upon direction from a licensed physician and surgeon, if carrying such a device is essential to, and the use is limited specifically to, the health of the student; within a classroom environment where the teacher gives specific permission to use a specific capability of a device.
Electronic signaling devices include any device that operates through the transmission or receipt of radio or infrared waves, including, but not limited to pagers, cellular telephones, two-way radios, PDA’s and cameras (still or video).
Cell phones cannot be used on campus from 8:00am-3:25pm. This includes break, Advisement, passing periods, lunch, and any open periods (including 4th period)
In permitting student possession of such devices, the District assumes no liability for the loss of the device or its misuse by another person. Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action. Unauthorized use may be a violation of IUSD Board Policy 6010-Honesty Position Statement.

http://209.232.148.170/pdf/Campus%20policies%20rules%20and%20procedures%202014.pdf



So, unless the devices were in use between first and last bell, the school official is wrong. Perhaps you might consider printing out the actual IUSD rules and giving the girls a copy to present to the offending teacher/vice squad.

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AA4HA
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Posts: 1493




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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 11:53:37 AM »

It may be that this is a big misunderstanding about what amateur radio is. Also the vice principal may have been irritated by the loudness of a portable radio. Cell phones usually are held up to the ear and the user can be discreet.

Maybe your daughters need earbud headsets with the little mics. I can see where a portable radio can be much more of a source of distraction as it is the same as using a cellphone in hands-free mode with the volume turned way up.

I hope it works out ok. It is an excellent opportunity for you and your daughters to do maybe a bit of education to the school district, teachers, staff and other students. Your children did not pick up the fundamentals necessary to hold a license solely based upon your tutelage but with the knowledge learned at that school. What a great example of young girls with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

<smile> see if your daughters are interested in forming an amateur radio club at school! That will have the vice principal's head spinning around.
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
ONAIR
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 10:38:48 PM »

Wonder what the school would have to say about kids using their smartphones to talk via echolink? 
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WN2C
Member

Posts: 470




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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 12:00:30 AM »

Bring and show the Principal their FCC license and show him what they had to learn to use those radios. Demonstrate what ham radio is and what it can do. Ask him why (politely why other students can use their cell phones and you kids can't use the communication devices they are federally licensed to use. If you can't get any sensible answer then contact an ARRL Legal Counsel volunteer in your area.  Then post the outcome back here.

Rick  WN2C
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