CBS12 News Investigates: Cell phone useless zones in schools

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Many parents supply their kid’s cell phones for protection, mainly to take to high school in case there’s an emergency.

In Parkland closing year, cellular telephones have been a lifeline for students. But in a few schools in and surrounding Palm Beach County, mobile telephone service can be spotty.

“One pal of mine, he changed into harm and I couldn’t assist him because I didn’t have true reception,” stated Suncoast Community High School scholar Camorris Peterson.

“Ensure areas, down the corridor closer to the quiet of the constructing [service] is truly horrific. But after you get toward the center it’s in reality excellent.”

CBS12 News Investigates has obtained a couple of complaints approximately mobile telephone lifeless zones at Suncoast, and uncovered wi-fi client lawsuits about dropped calls close to eight other Palm Beach County Schools using a map found at DeadCellZones.Com.

“It’s a huge, large hassle of human beings that think they ought to have coverage, but don’t,” stated Jeff Cohn, found the father of DeadCellZones.Com.

Over the years, his internet site has amassed hundreds of lawsuits across u . S. His maplets in wireless customers to drop pins in which they’ve had problems, and describe their problems.

Cohn stated it’s commonplace to receive reviews of lifeless zones inside of college buildings because of their vicinity in relation to mobile telephone towers and the construction in their buildings.

“If you have a variety of cinderblock walls, or a whole lot of steel inside the building, which can avert signals from the outside operating inner a school room,” stated Cohn.

After studying the locations of every high college and middle college in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie counties on DeadCellZones.Com, we determined nine schools in Palm Beach County with reports of mobile phone useless zones much less than one mile from campus.

Boynton Beach Community High School and Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach had numerous reports of T-Mobile useless zones, Jupiter Community High School in Jupiter had a Verizon useless sector close by, Lake Worth Community High School in Lake Worth had a T-Mobile lifeless area nearby, Olympic Heights Community High School in Boca Raton had a Sprint useless region nearby, Palm Beach Gardens Community High School in Palm Beach Gardens had an ATT dead zone nearby, Palm Springs Community Middle School in Palm Springs had a Sprint useless area nearby, Royal Palm Beach Community High School in Royal Palm Beach had a T-Mobile useless region close by, and Suncoast Community School had a Sprint lifeless quarter nearby.

CBS12 News Investigates asked parents and students to perform their own checks outdoor of study room hours.

One T-Mobile consumer at Royal Palm Beach Community High School tried to call his mom from interior a school building.

His mom supplied a display screenshot, showing the decision failed. Another scholar the use of Sprint attempted to call from South Fork High School in Martin County, but her call failed too.

School districts had varying responses to the difficulty of cell cellphone useless zones on campus.

A spokesperson for Indian River schools stated “We don’t have an trouble with [dead zones], in reality, we’ve got pointers in our code of behavior addressing mobile telephone use in schools with the aid of college students, so they’re not allowed to use their cells and make calls during the day.”

In Martin County, the school spokesperson said, “We aren’t aware of any ‘useless zones,’ but there is always the capacity for certain homes or locations to enjoy varying ranges of wi-fi sign energy/high-quality. Our Educational Technology staff continuously evaluations our systems and infrastructure to ensure we’re presenting the first-rate wireless revel in possible to our college students and personnel.”

A spokesperson for Okeechobee County Schools stated, “We have a few pronounced dead spots at numerous, however not all of our faculties. The District has set up [cell phone] repeaters at each campus – we had been informed that those repeaters ought to enhance reception.” The district did now not disclose where the suggested dead zones were positioned, due to protection concerns.

A spokesperson for Palm Beach County Schools said if college students or staff experience problems, they have to name or text the use of wifi. “All colleges have wifi and the district has utilized a part of the penny sales tax to make the network infrastructure in faculties more sturdy,” a spokesperson said. “Message and contact systems that use the net may be more reliable than cell service in a few buildings.”

In St. Lucie County, the district changed into not privy to any reviews of useless zones but is taking proactive measures.

“Communication and having that potential is extraordinarily crucial,” stated St. Lucie Schools Chief Operating Officer Terence O’Leary.

He stated the district has hooked up numerous cell repeaters, which assist signals to penetrate through homes designed to resist storm pressure winds.