Use of headphones at my high school yields a suspension and confiscation. Bogus?

I almost got busted today for listening to my CD player during lunch today. It’s against school rules, I knew it, and I probably shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

That said, what is the justification for that kind of rule? I understand other rules like no cell phone use inside the school, no hats, stuff like that. But listening to a CD player during lunch? Come on, what could I listening to, anti-school propaganda?

Because if it gets lost or stolen it could be a pretty big mess and hassle. And frankly, they have enough things to worry about without that.

That’s quite strange; I’ve never heard of such a rule.

Just wait until college, when you will finally figure out exactly how BS ninty percent of high school was.

My high school did this, too. Why? It was yet another attempt to undermine our ability to chose our own paths for our lives. Along with no headphones, we wern’t allowed hats (even on bitterly cold days), sleeveless shirts (even on 100 plus degrees days that would leave my underarms in puddles of sweat) nor any type of fashion that was popular among minorities (Any fashion worn by the African-Americans in my school was instatly labled “gang attire” and banned). Why all the draconian and meaningless rules?

America, for all it’s youth culture hype, does not want the youth to do anything except spend money. Even when they do that, they only want certain youth (white, well dressed and busy shopping) as not to scare the suburban shoppers away. In my teenage years, I have seen teens kicked out of just about every public place that does not involve spending money. They are booted out of parks, out of downtown areas, out of concerts, and even out of malls for the offense of sitting on benches. I’ve see teen clubs shut down, public events with high teen attendence closed, and teens made unwelcome in just about every public space imaginable.

No wonder kids sit at home screwing and smoking pot. It is their only alternative to spending the day shopping at The Gap.

We need to give teenagers a little respect. In a couple years these people will be on their own and making their own way through life. We need to teach them how to make decisions and handle responsibility. If we don’t, they won’t know how to handle the myriads of decisions and freedoms that come with adulthood. I have seen plenty of college freshmen screw up their lives simply because they have never had taste of freedom before and didn’t know how to handle it.

As for the headphones, the best way to use them in high school without them being nabbed is to be conspicous. tuck the end of the cord into your pants pocket (not attached to your CD player or anything) and jump around and shout “I am wearing headphones! I am violating rules! Isn’t someone going to stop this dangerous behavoir?!”. Chances are that any authority figures will simply make a wide berth around you, and maybe even get a flash of recognition at how truely stupid the rule is. Worked for me!

As I recall, my school banned walkmen after a student (not from our school, they heard about it from the news) was walking home, listening to his walkman, and got run over by a train. This was about ten years ago.

It really didn’t make any sense though. You could still bring your walkman to school, and walk home listening to it, you just couldn’t listen to it on school grounds.

Most schools in CA use rules similar to this as well.

I think non-essential personal items worth over $15 are prohibited.

I’m a teacher. Those rules are in place to limit distractions. Electronic equipment is banned because someone could listen to their CD player in class rather than learn, and IMHO, that’s just plain rude. In reference to the clothing ban, I teach at a uniform school, and I want students paying attention to me, not to what the kid next to him is wearing.

Most school rules have sound educational research backing it up. If you have a concern, speak to a teacher or administrator at your school.

Sound research proving they should ban HATS?!? Balderdash.

I don’t know about sound educational research, but the theory behind the hat ban at my school was that it encouraged better hygene in students who would otherwise roll out of bed, throw on a hat, and come to school unwashed. By preventing people from hiding their bed-head, they supposedly would wash their hair before coming to school.
At least, this is the story the students were fed. There was probably another reason for it.

Once upon a time, wearing hats indoors was considered rude. Wish it still was.

As for music-playing devices in school - ummm, I thought going to school was about studying and learning, not self-entertainment. I’ve seen news reports where parents complain about the amount of stuff their kids carry in their backpacks - I’m wondering how much they have to have and how much is just extraneous crap that has nothing to do with their education - like CD players.

In any event, since you know what the rules are and you deliberately violated them, seems to me you have no valid complaint. If you believe the rule is wrong and needs to be changed, try to develop and present a proposal to back up your stance. If you act like a rebellious kid, you’ll be treated as one… at least that’s been my experience.

Technically, we weren’t allowed to have walkmans, but the art teachers usually let you listen to them while you worked-which was really good for me!

We could wear hats, but not in the library-it was again the manners thing. Also, many teachers would make you take off caps during tests-apparently they had someone write answers on the bill, if you can believe it.

even sven-couldn’t you wear a knit cap and take it off when you got to school?

It’s just the man keeping you down. A poll of 1000 high school students found them to be the most oppressed group on the planet, ever.

It is, in some places. Our schools require the students to remove their hats indoors. It has nothing to do with hygiene and everything to do with manners. We require our children’s friends to remove their hats when they come into our home, too. But I think we may be the exception.

SouprChckn, you might try to change the rules, but you have to go about it in the right way. First, you need to find out what the reasoning is behind the ban. If, as someone suggested, it is intended to be a theft deterrent (no unnecessary, expensive belongings) you’re probably out of luck. But it could be a safety issue, or a paying attention issue. In that case, you might have something to work with.

Write out a formal proposal that offers a way that listening to music could be done safely and respectfully. Come up with rules/restrictions that you think are reasonable and enforcable. If you can get some parents, or even teachers, to sign on with you, so much the better. Then, take your proposal to your principal and ask him to consider it.

You never know, it might work. At the very least, it’s an exercise in small scale government. But sneaking around and breaking the rules only reinforces the perception that students cannot be trusted and that outright bans are the only solution.

Except probably 99.9% of the oh-so-popular “Zero Tolerance” rules (Y’know… no letting the girl asphyxiating next to you take a hit of your asthma inhaler, no writing poems about shootings or death, etc). Those are just backed up by hysterical fear of getting sued if someone tries to exercise judgement.

The most likely justification is what Home of the Braves suggested, distration during class time. Why don’t they just ban them while you are in class and allow them to be used outside of class? Because it is much easier to enforce a blanket ban than a conditional one.

I completely agree with the teachers who have chimed in and said that the wearing of headphones during class is disruptive and shows a lack of respect for the learning process. Absolutely. But the OP was listening during lunch.

And of course school is about studying and learning, not self-entertainment. But it usually lasts for eight hours or so. Nobody does anything for a solid eight hours. Do people at their jobs not listen to the radio, read a magazine article, shoot the breeze with their coworkers?


Why? what is rude about wearing hats indoors, other than someone once decided that it was and its been like that ever since. Wearing hats indoors is not rude, it doesn’t bother anyone in absolutely any way whatsoever. If you have a good reason why wearing a hat could be considered rude i’d love to hear it, and “thats how it used to be in the old days” is not a good reason.

Ever been sitting in a classroom or movie theatre and had someone wearing a hat come in and sit in front of you?

In lecture, you have to crane your neck to see the board, in a movie, you can’t see the screen. It’s not always possible to move and get a better view, because sometimes there are no other available seats.

Granted, not all hats will obstruct the view of the person behind you, but lots will at least partially obstruct it, and as Dr. Lao pointed out: “it is much easier to enforce a blanket ban than a conditional one.”

I’m all in favor of everyone (not just men, as used to be the case) removing hats when indoors.

Well, I guess that is about the gist of it (ignoring the additional reasoning given by Motorgirl. Just because.

But if you think about it, we do all sorts of things in the name of manners and politeness “just because.” We say please and thank you. We say excuse me when passing closely or in front of someone. We shake hands when we meet. We say goodbye when we take our leave. None of these things is necessary. It has simply been decided that these are ways of showing respect. They make the everyday interactions between us more pleasant. Removing your hat when you come inside is just one of those things.

As to the blanket ban vs. conditional ban, I know for a fact this can be done because it already is being done with those who own cell phones. We’re allowed to have them as long as we sign some contract that gives them our soul. We’re allowed to have them on our person but if it goes off or we use it inside the school, we get suspended. Before this was instituted, having one in your possession, talking about one, looking at a picture of one from 20 feet, etc… would probably get you suspended for three days.

As for the place of learning and education argument, I wouldn’t have a problem with it if they banned it in class. I wasn’t learning anything with my friends during lunch, except maybe proper eating technique or something. I’m glad I eat out for lunch nearly every day. The only reason this came up was because the half day shortened our lunch period.

As for changing it myself, I guess I could try. Although being a senior doesn’t help any. By the time anything gets through, I’ll have either stopped caring or have graduated. This is probably why they have all these crazy rules in the first place. They know teenagers are too lazy to do anything about them.