A Hudson science teacher was suspended without pay for taking a class experiment a little too far.
Fivay High School teacher Dean Liptak was sick of students using cell phones in class so he started using a cell jammer.
“The cell phone provider came to the campus and asked to search the campus, so at that point in time administration believed it was a student that might have had this device,” said the Director of Office for Employee Relations, Betsy Kuhn.
A likely guess, but not this time. It was Liptak, a former pro-wrestler, conducting an experiment with the device, to block cell signal.
“There was some issues with the signal all through the school, people were complaining about it, and during that time he wasn’t saying, 'oh it’s me, I’ve got the jammer,' it was not a word,” said Kuhn.
The news was unsettling to parents like Martie Cornell who understands the frustrations with teens and their phones, but says safety needs to be put first.
“We’ve got to come to a happy medium, you know, protection and teacher sanity as well, but I think protection outweighs the teachers sanity,” said Cornell.
According to a letter written to the district from Liptak, he felt something needed to be done.
He says, “My intent for using the device was to keep students academically focused on schoolwork.”
The district says it doesn’t think he realized the seriousness of the issue.
“If we had parents trying to contact students and they couldn’t reach them that could have been a serious issue,” said Kuhn. “If we had someone trying to call 911 from a cell phone that also could have had some safety implications.”
The district says this isn’t the first time Liptak has been in the hot seat.
“Everyone at school knows who he is,” said student, Braxton Mora.
The district says he showed poor judgment a couple years ago when he administered inappropriate test questions.
“He’s a little out there, he’s kind of extreme,” said Mora.
Liptak has received a five days suspension without pay. This is the last week of school for the district so those days will carry over this fall.
According to the FCC it’s against federal law to use cell jammers or any similar devices.