Student Protest Pauses School iPod Ban

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iPods have been banned in schools from Australia to Idaho by officials citing reasons from cheating to social isolation, but one at one Massachusetts school students prevented the ban saying that the MP3 devices help them study.

The Natick School Committee canceled its vote on banning iPods after about 70 students students packed the town hall  to  ask members to let them hang on to their iPods in school, The Boston Globe reported.

“When I listen to music, it helps me concentrate,’’ said senior Craig Dickey, who said he has attention deficit disorder. He likened the music on his MP3 player to white noise, saying, “It blocks everything else out.’’
“It’s hard to focus without it,’’ student Patrick Shaughnessy said. “The ones not listening are the ones who are talking’’ and disrupting study halls, he said.

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Other schools in the district have banned iPods, but with little success. Rockland High School’s new policy currently allows students to use cellphones during lunch, but banned iPods from school.

“I would say that policy failed miserably,’’ Principal Stephen Sangster said, adding that thefts have also increased.  “I was really hoping that it would work, but it didn’t. I would say it’s somewhat of a safety problem when students can’t hear you.’’

Massachusetts currently has no statewide school policy for iDevices.

Ed Lenox, a lawyer who represents schools throughout the state, said nearly all schools prohibit cellphone and iPod use during class and most have some kind of campus verboten zones.

“Almost universally, it’s recognized that using these devices is a distraction from the learning process,’’ he said.

Source: The Boston Globe, UPI