Cell Phones in Education: An obstacle

I have just been sent a link that may provide a huge obstacle to my passion of integrating cell phones into the classroom, and it is called PA House Bill No. 363. This bill is being referred to the Committee on Education to amend "the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14)" which banned student pagers from schools, with the exception of emergency workers and medical reasons. This bill is aiming to apply the same restrictions to cell phones. Here is the proposed wording. Italics are new wordings, while [brackets] are removed wordings.
13 Section 1317.1. Possession of [Telephone Pagers] Electronic

14 Devices Prohibited.--(a) The possession by students of

15 telephone paging devices, commonly referred to as beepers,

16 cellular telephones and portable electronic devices that record

17 or play audio or video material shall be prohibited on school

18 grounds, at school sponsored activities and on buses or other

19 vehicles provided by the school district.

20 (b) The prohibition against beepers and cellular telephones

21 contained in subsection (a) shall not apply in the following

22 cases, provided that the school authorities approve of the

23 presence of the beeper or cellular telephone in each case:

24 (1) A student who is a member of a volunteer fire company,

25 ambulance or rescue squad.

26 (2) A student who has a need for a beeper or cellular

27 telephone due to the medical condition of an immediate family

28 member.

29 Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
I urge each and every educator in PA to contact the Representatives that introduced the amendment to the bill, as well as the members of the Committee on Education to inform them of the immense mistake it would be to apply this amendment. Inform them of the great things that the educators in this state are doing with cell phones both in and out of the classroom. Remind them that the devices are not the problem, but the improper use is, and that we cannot continue on in education ignoring devices such at this, both as educational tools as well as the need to make sure today's youth are being taught proper use of these devices for their own safety, as well as proper etiquette and use.

Here are the names (click for contact) of the Representatives whose names are on the bill, as well as those on the Committee on Education.

Angel Cruz, D, District 180
Rosita C. Youngblood, D, District 198
T. Mark Mustio, R, District 44
Thomas R. Caltagirone, R, District 127
Douglas G. Reichley, R,
District 134
Harry Readshaw, D,
District 36
John P. Sabatina, D,
District 174
John J. Siproth, D,
District 189
W. Curtis Thomas, D,
District 181

Find contacts for all State Representatives here. Find yours and tell them NOT to support banning cell phones in education.

Committee on Education (including contact info).

Also, sign this virtual petition.

Spread the word. Let educators decide how to run their classrooms. We need our students to have access this technology for the sake of our world!

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