Fed-up teacher suspended for jamming students’ cell phones so they’d pay attention in class

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Pop quiz: If you don't want students using cell phones in class, do you:

A)  Ask students to turn them off?

B)  Confiscate them at the beginning of class and return them at the end?

C)  Use an illegal cell phone jamming device?

Dean Liptak, a science teacher at Hudson High School in Bradenton, Fla., has been suspended without pay for five days for choosing C.

According to the Bradenton Herald, he was frustrated by his students' inability to pay attention in class.


“My intent for using the device was to keep students academically focused on schoolwork," he wrote in a letter to the school district.

But Liptak ended up jamming cell phones throughout the school. When the phone company came to investigate, they realized what had occurred.


“There was some issues with the signal all through the school, people were complaining about it, and during that time he wasn’t saying, 'Oh, it’s me, I’ve got the jammer,'" Betsy Kuhn, head of employee relations at the school, told the Herald.

Cell phone jammers are illegal in the U.S., and the FCC has an entire webpage, and a downloadable poster (below), aimed at people like Liptak:

However, devices that advertise themselves as cell phone signal jammers are evidently widely available.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.