A teacher in Florida has been suspended without pay for five days after he used a signal jammer to stop his students’ phones from working, Ars Technica reports.
Science teacher Dean Liptak affixed a jammer to a cell tower located on campus, which enabled him to jam mobile phones in order to stop students from getting distracted during lessons.
Liptak said that he had an override button for the device in case of emergencies, and also claimed that he checked with a local police officer who told him that using a jammer was legal.
The science teacher wrote a letter that explained why he set up the signal jammer:
My name is Dean Liptak, and I’m writing this letter to tell my side of the situation involving my use of a cell phone jammer in my classroom. My intent for using the device was to keep students academically focused on schoolwork. It is counter productive to stop instruction and lose academic focus when I have to tell a student to put his or her cell phone away. It is also unproductive to confiscate a cell phone, put it in the school-approved box and keep it until the end of the period.
This isn’t the first time that Liptak had gotten into trouble with the school he worked at. In 2013, he was reprimanded after creating violent questions for use in a school science test. Here are two of those questions, via The Daily Mail:
A northbound car with a velocity of 100 m/s ran over a baby with a momentum of 800 kg m/s, what is the mass of the car?
A 50 kg student has a momentum of 500 kg m/s as the teacher launches him toward the wall, what is the velocity of the student heading toward the wall?
Liptak had a career as a wrestler in the 1990s, working as one half of the “Power Company Twins” under the name Dean Power. The Daily Mail spoke to one of Liptak’s students, who described him as “a little out there” and “kind of extreme.”