Unless a teacher has a court order prohibiting the use of phones in their classroom, it is not legal for them to confiscate or destroy them. It is important that students are able to use their phones for emergencies such as calling 911, contacting parents, and more.
If you are able to retrieve your phone from the school after it is confiscated, we recommend you immediately contact an attorney. There can be serious consequences for teachers who violate this guideline.
How to Deal With Teachers That Take Your Phone Away:
1. Contact an Attorney:
The first step that you should take is to contact an attorney. This is important in order to get the phone back. The role of the attorney will be to review each situation and come up with a strategy on how to get the phone back, and how to compensate you for the lost property. For example, if your phone has been confiscated by the teacher for using it during class time, then an attorney can help you determine if this is illegal.
2. Make Sure The Phone is Not Missing:
Make sure the phone is not missing. If the phone is missing, make it a priority to find out what happened to it. This includes immediately contacting your parents, or someone you trust, and asking them if they have seen your phone. When in doubt, ask! Remember that every cell phone has a unique number which can be found on their screen. Additionally, the touch screen may show when the last time it was used was before you had it confiscated. Finally, it is important that you try and make sure the phone was not misplaced. A simple move of your backpack can lead to misplacing your valuables.
3. Try and Understand Why Your Phone Was Taken Away:
Consider with the teacher why you were not allowed to use a phone in class. Even though it is illegal for teachers to confiscate phones, there are some situations where they would be justified in doing so. Remember that you are responsible for your actions and being disrespectful with the teacher.
4. Keep Track of Your Phone:
Keep track of your phone as soon as it is confiscated. This means make sure you know where the phone is at all times. For example, if your phone was confiscated until you get home from school, then make sure you know exactly where it is in order to pick it up when you leave campus. You should also keep track of who has the phone. This includes teachers, students, hall passes, or anyone that might have it in their possession. This will be important when you are trying to retrieve your phone back from the school.
5. Work With Your Principal:
Remember that teachers are not always the ones responsible for confiscating your cell phone. It is possible that you will have to work with a principal in order to get your phone back. Try and get together with the principal and explain what happened to them. Discuss what happened to your phone in order to see if they can help you get it back. It is important that you get their contact information. Make sure the principal knows to what happens to your phone once it is confiscated by a teacher.
6. Contact Your Parents:
In some situations, the best strategy will be to contact the school administrators and your parents. This is because it will be important for your parents to make sure that school officials know that there are legal consequences for confiscating or destroying student property especially phones. Parents will be able provide proof that you are responsible with your phone and make sure they know that confiscation is illegal.
7. Contact a District Attorney:
In certain types of cases, it might be a good idea to contact the district attorney. Remember that it is important to do this when you have tried everything else such as contacting the principal and teacher, and have not been able to get your phone back. There are several reasons why doing this can help you get your phone back. For example, you will be able to determine if the teacher has done this before, and if they have, the district attorney will be able to take actions against them.
8. Make Sure Your Phone Is In Good Condition:
If your phone was confiscated or destroyed by a teacher, then you need to make sure that it is in good condition. For example, check the screen to see if there are any cracks on it because this can result in an expensive repair. Additionally, if your phone has a protective case on it, then make sure you have all of the pieces such as the screen protectors and cases.