On October 26, 2011 New Dorp High School students started their day with an unexpected surprise. The New York City Police Department checked the book bags of the students and had metal detectors to check for weapons and other metals.
Many students had their cell phones confiscated while they were being scanned. Around fourth period however, the students were able to retrieve their cell phones and other items that were confiscated earlier that day. It was an interruption of instruction and students missed at least 2 periods. According to the attendance office, 606 students were absent because word got out and students did not want their phones confiscated.
“It is a Department of Education policy to implement random scanning at schools throughout New York City that do not have metal detectors and therefore do not scan daily. I believe that this practice is a compound of the citywide safety plan,” said Deidre DeAngelis, the principal of New Dorp High school.
The NYPD took cell phones and other items from students that the police felt were threatening or were against school policy. According to the Chancellor’s Regulation A 412 Section V, it clearly ”prohibits any electronic devices in school. In addition, it is a violation of Citywide Standards of Discipline and Intervention Measures (The Discipline Code) —B05″. Two and a half hours later the staff returned the cell phones back only just to hear students complaining and uttering rhings like ”What was the point of that!
Many New Dorp high school staff members and students felt that the confiscation of cell phones was unnecissary. It was also very expensive to buy Ziploc bags and envelopes with labels to collect the phones and ipods.
“ They couldn’t take my phone. It was my property,” said Gabriela Polis, a student in New Dorp high school.
“It was very disruptive and I didn’t understand why they gave the cell phones back fourth period,” said Mr. Stefanelli, a teacher at New Dorp high school.
Others felt that the NYPD officers were unneccessarily rough.
“I believe that the security team was not used to the good students from New Dorp; they were too rough and wreckless with their words and conduct,” said Paul Matteo, a junior at New Dorp High School. “The Police need to work on how they go about approaching good students.”
In the end of this mess, parents were irate, and secretaries and parent coordinators had to field calls pulling them away from their work.Tweet