They were supposed to be watching the movie Anne Frank. Instead, they were talking, so I was walking around the room. I caught a boy with his cell phone out on his desk.
"Put it away," I said. (I was being nice. I could have just confiscated the thing.)
He mumbled some excuse and put it in his pocket. He attempted to pull it out again when he thought I wasn't looking. I informed him that if I saw it again, I was going to confiscate it.
"You can't do that!" he informed me. "You're just a sub. You can't take my cell phone."
I can't, can I? I don't have the authority? The office won't accept confiscated cell phones from a lowly sub? Silly boy. I have done this before, and the office is more than happy to take the devices off my hands. And you will give it to me, or I will get security, the principal, or both involved, and then it will get really ugly.
I said none of this. I just thought it. I thought it as I looked at the boy. I must have had a "he didn't just say that, did he?" look on my face, for the boy quickly recanted.
"I was just kidding. You won't see it again. Could I just reply to this text first?"
I didn't see that cell phone again. (I told him to reply to the text after class.)
The school has since changed their cell phone policy. Now instead of confiscating cell phones, we are to send the students to the office to have the office staff and/or principal confiscate the phone. Apparently, the whole issue has gotten ugly of late, so they've found it works better to have the argument happen in the office rather than having it take up class time.