By Julian De Ocampo ’13 & Dillan Ducar ’13
It’s easy to spot the glazed over eyes, colorfully flickering screens and furtive glances that seem to infect the numerous students playing games in class.
The three main reasons students receive Justice Under God, Brophy’s equivalent of detention, are for breaking procedure, dress code violations and class misconduct. However, the introduction of Tablets into the classroom has also given rise to another common reason for JUG: Inappropriate Computer Usage, or ICUs.
Freshmen Carter Hale ’14, Eric Fishman ’14 and Joe Postorius ’14 all agreed that many students engage in inappropriate computer use, and that while students get caught about 20 percent of the time, many teachers “just don’t care.” They said that students who get ICUs usually don’t stop playing games; ICUs simply “make them more careful next time.”
The three freshmen said that common games played in class included N-Game, Pokémon and various Nintendo-64 games.
However, Dean of Students Mr. Jim Bopp maintains that ICUs are not a major problem.
“I had classes that didn’t have the Tablets and classes that did, and there wasn’t really a difference in the amount,” Mr. Bopp said. “There are usually 10 to 15 people in JUG a day, and maybe three of those guys are in there for ICU.”
Mr. Bopp maintains that most students are not repeat offenders, but in rare cases, certain students persist in getting caught for ICU.
“There are definitely guys who have a problem,” Mr. Bopp said. “And what it does is help us identify who those are and work out something more than JUG that will help them overcome that problem … helping them learn strategies to not get distracted.”
The total amount of JUGs given by the school starts high at the beginning of the school year, drops down to a lower level during the middle semesters, and increases once again at the end of the year, according the Mr. Bopp.
Mr. Bopp said that while most freshmen and sophomores generally do not get many JUGs, they are still the most prone to getting caught for gaming.
Students serving JUG usually follow a strict procedure: For the first half they copy the rule that they broke from the student, and for the second half they clean the school’s litter.
Although Mr. Bopp said most teachers do not have a major problem with ICUs, not all teachers believe that students have the self-control to stop.
“There has to be other repercussions. I wouldn’t necessarily say bigger action, but they need to be educated on why it’s a JUG-able offense, not just giving them more JUGs,” said Mr. Joe Klein ’86.
“You guys are teenage boys and you like to surf the web and play games. Some guys can’t control that,” said Systems Administrator Mr. Mark Pettit, who often sees students with computer problems due to students downloading games and programs from malicious sites.
Although the introduction of Tablets has changed the classroom, the problem is nothing new.
“Teachers have always struggled with making sure students are engaged in the classroom, and having computers didn’t change that,” Mr. Bopp said. “It’s something that teachers have had to address and work with since the beginning of time, and it’s not something that teachers aren’t used to.”