| Crime |

Don't freak out on me about your cell phone, damn it! We've got rules against that!

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

At this point, the folks at Aurora Public Schools really, really don't want to talk about an incident in which a Hinkley High student allegedly attacked a substitute teacher for taking her cell phone -- and related subjects are basically off-limits as well. Regarding the assault, media-relations specialist Paula Hans offers only an extra-general statement (on view below) focusing on a commitment to safety, etc. In addition, she does her best to shut down questions about the frequency of student violence against staffers (she doesn't recall a similar incident taking place since she came to the position in July 2007, and before that, she has no idea) or how many cell phones or other electronic items are confiscated at Hinkley or any other APS facility in a day, a week, a month, a year (if such stats are kept, she hasn't heard about them). What a gusher of information.

However, Hans does confirm that the district's discipline code gives principals wide latitude about how to deal with rules at their school pertaining to electronic devices. These guidelines treat cell phones and other gadgets like the unruliest children during the Victorian age: They shouldn't be heard or seen.

Here's the statement about the student-on-teacher smackdown:

"We are in the process of investigating allegations concerning a student and substitute teacher. Student and staff safety is a top priority at Hinkley High School and throughout Aurora Public Schools. We are committed to maintaining a safe environment in our schools and inappropriate behavior of any type will not be tolerated. We have contacted the Aurora Police Department about the allegations and are fully cooperating with their investigation. At this point, we have no further information because this incident is under investigation."

And here's the cell-phone edict from the code linked above:

CELL PHONES -- ELECTRONIC DEVICES: Aurora Public Schools believes in "providing environments that optimize learning and teaching and are safe, secure, and well-maintained." As such, an except for approved educational purposes, all personal electronic devices shall not be seen, used, nor heard during the school day on Aurora Public School property by students grades K-12. Cell phones--electronic devices are defined as cell phones, IPODs, CD players, PSPs, Blackberries, cameras, electronic games, etc.

In APS, cell-phone infractions fall into two categories: "Minor," which can prompt conferences or so-called "interventions" (like an in-school suspension), or "Severe," potentially leading to suspensions, emergency removal, reassignment or, in extremely severe severe cases, expulsion.

Given that expulsion is also the remedy listed for assault, the student at the center of the latest brouhaha will likely be outta Hinkley in short order -- not that Hans will discuss it. In the meantime, the rest of you children keep your phones to yourself.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.