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Pennsylvania legislators want to lock it down

Jim Gates points out that Pennsylvania legislators have introduced a bill to ban cellphones and ‘other portable electronic devices that record or play audio or video material.’ The language of the bill seems very broad. Wouldn’t digital camcorders, digital voice recorders, boomboxes, laptop computers, portable media players, and other non-cellphone-type devices also fall under its very inclusive verbiage? Note that schools only are able to make two narrow exceptions. Nowhere in the bill does it allow schools to permit students to use ‘portable electronic devices that record or play audio or video material‘ for pedagogical purposes.

Principal Lehmann, sorry. If this bill passes, you’re going to have to shut down Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy. Microsoft, thanks for trying. Unless the language in this bill becomes less inclusive, say goodbye to Philadelphia’s School of the Future. One-to-one laptop programs? Steer clear of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!

Was there widespread abuse of cellphones in Pennsylvania, maybe worse than in other states, that prompted this bill? Or is this just another example of the lock-it-down mentality held by so many policymakers? Ugh. First New York City. Now Pennsylvania.

Oh, by the way, State Representative Angel Cruz, Democrat from Philadelphia, invites your input on this proposed bill. So go ahead, let him know what you think.


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