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"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

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Would You Want Your Phone Searched By You School?

A New Jersey District has made it easier to seize students’ phones to check for signs of bullying
Ava Serventi hiding her phone in class playing games, so she doesnt have to put it in the phone pockets.
Jailyn James
Ava Serventi hiding her phone in class playing games, so she doesn’t have to put it in the phone pockets.

After 14 year old Adriana Kuch was cyberbullied so bad it led to suicide, a New Jersey district has made it easier for students phones to be searched for signs of bullying. 

The Central Regional School District in Orange County has made it easier for phones be searched because Adriana Kuch, was attacked in the hallways as students record it and posted all over social media. After her death the school district put in a new policy that says school officials can search a students phone if there is a reasonable suspicion that rules were violated or if reasonable suspicion suggests that there is information on the phone relevant to the schools investigation.

Her parents believed that the school did not handle the situation well. Adriana was attacked in the hallway at her school, and it was videotaped and blasted on social media. After she was attacked 4 of her classmates were charged for being connected to the attack.

Her family was extremely upset about this and made headlines which soon resulted in this new regulation. 

Officials from NJ.com say “Although schools in New Jersey have the authority to search a student’s cell phone, experts advise they try less intrusive methods of getting information about an incident before a student’s property is searched.”

This law is in place for the safety of students, not for authority to go through students’ phones for no reason. Officers can only search through students’ phones if district, board, rules or regulations have been violated.

In Central Regional, the school Adriana was bullied at, the school board nor the superintendent tried to make comments or ask why this was being put in place. Central Regional also implaced this rule in August before the school year started. 

The result of this new policy is that students in grades 7th-12th must secure phone pouches, or turn them off and put them away.

After talking with Wayne Hills Junior Ryan Westerburg she, “I think we should be able to keep it on us, like in our backpacks, just in case there is emergency or you need to text you mom and parents about something.” Ryans reasoning is understandable. As well as senior Elizabeth Kaloukian, who said, “I mean personally I feel pretty responsible so I would rather just have my phone with me, cause I don’t think its a big deal to just keep our phones in our backpack. For teachers that have students that aren’t well behaved I guess it makes sense but for me I just thinks its better to keep our phones in our backpacks.”

Both girls don’t like the idea of putting the phones in the pocket, and with understandable reasons. If they went through something like Adriana did students may feel differently about it. As of right now though most Wayne Hills students are uncomfortable with idea of putting their phones in the pockets. 

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