Commonwealth Journal

Local News

March 19, 2014

Student’s watch phone an issue of controversy

Southern Elementary teacher confiscated device


Somerset —

Richardson said he was told by Mayfield and principal Keith Patrick that Phillippi “didn’t give them much of an opportunity to discuss much with them as well. ... She wasn’t willing to sit down and talk to the principal because she was so upset the watch had been taken. I don’t know if it was ever said that the child couldn’t bring it back.”
Richardson said he wouldn’t “dictate from (his) position” what the policy regarding the smart watch should be, but said that he would prefer to “work toward” an agreement that would possibly make an allowance for the child to be able to use the device at school.
When asked if that would be possible, Patrick said, “Anything’s possible. ... Our doors are always open.”
He also said that the watch “is a cell phone” and that it “looks like a watch.” It had been on the child for three months without anybody knowing about it.
“Here at school, (students’ phones) stay in their backpacks,” he said. “After school, they can get them out, use them on the bus, whatever else.
“We asked (Phillippi) when she was here to put up her phone because she had it out in the hallways,” he added. “We ask outside visitors to put their phones up because of the safety of the students.”
Jaymee Phillippi said that she’s working on getting a doctor’s note to try to get the school to allow Cayden to carry the device there. However, “if they still choose to single out my child, I will choose to seek (legal) counsel.”
For Patrick, it’s a “non-issue” because the device is a phone and phones are not allowed at school.
However, “if there are special circumstances and things we need to talk about, we don’t need a (doctor’s note),” said Wilds, “We will work with (Phillippi).”

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