A parent addressed Sulphur Springs Independent School District Board of Trustees his concerns regarding iPads being given to all students and students’ use of iPads as part of their school assignments.
Timothy Perkins told the school board at their regular meeting this week that he objections to all students being issued an iPad or tablet. He said his son was issued an iPad, and over the objections of his parents, and brought it home.
“At first, the school said, ‘Well, it’s required and you have to sign this paper, and you are liable to for up to $400 worth of damage if he breaks it. That didn’t seem like a great idea, you know, because his son had previously broken a tablet,” Perkins told the school board Monday night during the public forum portion of the regular February school board meeting.
Perkins noted that cost could be potentially “detrimental to a family of lesser income than I have,” particularly a single earner household in which a child breaks a tablet. Such a loss could be devastating, he pointed out.
He then noted that said while Travis Primary Principal Michelle Wallace conceded to their request not to agree to the policy, a device is still being sent home with his child anyway. The nature of students’ use of iPads is troubling to Perkins as well.
Perkins said his son routinely comes home once to twice a week with the tablet to “play games.”
“A tablet is strictly for games. Even his math homework he is given a math problem and he is given three possible answers. That’s not bad. He drags a puzzle piece over to the answer. He gets it wrong, drag the second one. He gets it wrong, drags the third one. He’s got it. That’s not math. That’s a game,” Perkins contents. “He’s being taught how to play video games.”
Perkins offered to the school board copies of what he said were several articles, including one from Psychology Today, “about how electronics are damaging to young minds – addictive.”
“That is my concern. These kids are being forced these devices in an attempt to teach them technology. Trust me, I know technology,” Perkins said. “I have a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from A&M Commerce right up the road. I have a masters of science degree in the information systems from Western Governor’s University. I’ve got six or eight different IT certifications, ranging from very basic Network Plus on up to the highly coveted, highly respected Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification (CISSP). It concerns me that this school or this school district wants students to play video games on tablets.”
SSISD Board of Trustees President Robert Cody thanked Perkins for his words and told him that if he cared to share the articles he mentioned they’d take it under advisement, with no further comment on students’ use of iPads.