A Denver school will collect student phones during teacher strike

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Students at Denver Discovery School will not have access to their cellphones during the upcoming Denver teachers strike, according to an email shared by a parent.

The email says,  “Please do not bring backpacks, binders or anything of value,” and warns that students will not have access to their lockers during the strike. Also, it says school officials will collect cellphones at the beginning of the day and return them at the end of the day “so that students don’t have to worry about loosing (sic) them.”

Denver Discovery School, a middle school located at 3480 Syracuse St., also posted the message to its Facebook page, which a parent took a screenshot of and shared before it was removed from the school’s page.

RELATED: Denver teacher strike: What you need to know about the planned walkout

“Are they going to school or jail?” asked JoyAnn Ruscha, a parent of an eighth grade student at Denver Discovery School.

She said she feels like the latest move is an attempt to make students resent their teachers.

“What do you mean, ‘No binders allowed’? So my son can’t bring his Honors Algebra notes to school?” Ruscha asked. “My son has dyslexia — this is only going to induce anxiety. Taking away cellphones and putting them in bags? This feels like a punitive punishment directed at our kids.”

Ruscha added that many of the older kids at the school take RTD buses, so she doesn’t understand how they can leave their backpacks at home.

Denver Public Schools spokeswoman Anna Alejo said each school has its own policies, and “school leaders have the authority to decide what is in their students’ best interest.”

According to Alejo, Principal Pam Kirk made the decision because the school’s policy is for students to keep their cellphones in their lockers. But because the school will have fewer teachers than normal, “the principal is looking into how best to serve all of the students.”

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