A high school science teacher was suspended for five days for using a portable jammer in the classroom to block signals from students’ mobile phones. However, he may think he is lucky because he actually violated federal law. Dean Liptak was tired of calling and interrupting their attention, thinking that the school’s confiscation plan would not be embarrassing. WTSP reports that it brought the device to keep it on the book instead of on the screen.
Unfortunately, although Liptak claimed that the gps blocker only blocked the reception signal in his classroom, it actually blocked the communication with the campus cell phone tower. This caught Verizon’s attention, and Verizon reminded school officials of the presence of the disruptor. Mayor Kurt Browning said in the suspension letter that Liptak “posed a serious threat to communications that are critical to safety and prevented others from making 911 calls.” He also cited Liptak’s “inadequate judgment” regarding “inappropriate teaching worksheets” for students.
In response, Liptuck said that after talking to the police, he did not believe that possession and use of jammers violated state law. This is not the case, but the FCC has stated that it “uses jammers to block, prevent or deliberately interfere with radio communications, radar, and Wi-Fi authorized for use on mobile phones or similar devices (such as cell phones).” Liptak wrote: “My goal is to use the device to focus students on homework. When I have to tell students to put down their phones, stopping teaching and losing attention will be counterproductive… If students refuse to give up I carry my mobile phone with me, and I have to write a recommendation letter, and I am losing more and more attention to learning.” Verizon does not need to sue, so Liptak can only use unpaid weekly leave. This is just another skirmish in the battle between users and displays. Wearable devices (such as Apple’s smart watches) will only exacerbate the conflict. Checking your watch and cell phone is the most shocking of the two things you can do. Combining them like Apple Watch will only stimulate head and finger vibrations, and phrases like this: Now? Liptak’s jammers are illegal, but they are too deadly. In this case, the participation of students and teachers needs to be respected. We do not need the participation of the federal government.