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Banning Behavior: reading drama; Hands Off My Phone! 6


Read the drama and listen to the audio recording, then answer the practice question.

Hands Off My Phone!

Cast of Characters

Valentina Rosario: a 12-year old student at Heedleston Middle School
Jamila: Valentina’s friend
Sebastian: another of Valentina’s friends
Mr. Rosario: Valentina’s dad, and also the principal of the school

Scene One

(Morning, by the lockers. VALENTINA and SEBASTIAN are mid-conversation)
Sebastian: Oh no he didn’t. That is so harsh.
Valentina: Right?
Sebastian: Your dad took your phone away, just for getting a D on the history test?
Valentina: Yep.
Sebastian: My mind is blown.
Valentina: Mine too.
Sebastian: I mean, that was an easy test.
Valentina: What?
Sebastian: I can’t believe you got a D.
Valentina: Hey! That’s not really the—
Sebastian: (interrupting) And your dad is the school principal, AND he took your phone away? Whoa.
Valentina: You know, this isn’t really helping.
Sebastian: Your life is so bleak right now.
Valentina: (sarcastic) Well, thank you so much for your encouraging words.
(VALENTINA slams her locker door and storms off.)
Sebastian: What did I say?

Scene Two

(Later in the cafeteria. SEBASTIAN and VALENTINA are sitting together eating lunch. Enter JAMILA.)
Sebastian: Hey, Jamila!
Jamila: (nods) Hey friends. What’s with the face of doom, Valentina? Have you been eating those poisonous apples from the tree behind the bleachers again?
Valentina: (gloomy) My dad took my phone away.
Jamila: Yikes. Glad I’m not you.
Valentina: What do I have to do to get some sympathy around here?
(JAMILA and SEBASTIAN’s phones buzz. They both check them and laugh.)
Jamila: Sorry, you were saying?
Valentina: Never mind.
(School announcement jingle plays over loudspeaker.)
Mr Rosario: (over the loudspeaker) Attention Heedleton Huskies! Last night the school board voted to regulate cell phone usage during school hours, starting immediately this lunchtime.
Sebastian: Uh—what?
Mr. Rosario: (continuing over loudspeaker) Research shows that cell phones are distracting, isolating, and get in the way of work. To this end, we will be imposing a new policy here at school.
Jamila: (to VALENTINA) Did you know about this?
Valentina: No!
Mr. Rosario: (continuing over loudspeaker) In order to maximize learning and eliminate distractions, there will be no cell phone use during class or lunch. All teachers are aligned on this new approach, and the policy will be strictly enforced.
Valentina: Well, this just gets better and better.
Mr. Rosario: (continuing over loudspeaker) Thank you for listening. Now put your phones away.
Jamila: Unbelievable! Did he just—
Valentina: He did.
Sebastian: I’m calling my lawyer!
Jamila: You don’t have a lawyer. You’re 12 years old.
Sebastian: Oh yeah. But the point is . . . this is America . . . land of the free! What kind of freedom is this?
Jamila: Well, Valentina?
Valentina: “Well,” what?
Jamila: What are you going to do?
Valentina: Me?
Jamila: Last time I checked, Mr. Rosario was still your dad. And it was you flunking the history test that gave him this idea in the first place. Your problem—you figure it out.
(Exit JAMILA.).

Scene Three

(Next day, in the cafeteria. JAMILA and SEBASTIAN sitting together.)
Jamila: Can you believe it? They confiscated my phone because I took it out for literally 4 seconds to check a text from my mom.
Sebastian: That’s just WRONG. I mean, what if it was a serious emergency or something?
Jamila: Right? I don’t know how much longer I can take it. It’s such an inconvenience to wait until after school to check my texts or contact my friends. Plus now, I have to write down my assignments—which takes forever. It was so much faster just to take a picture.
Sebastian: Like, do they want us to go back to the stone age or what?
Valentina: Hey. I figured it out.
Sebastian: What?
Valentina: Jamila said this was my problem, so I came up with a plan.
Jamila: This had better be good.
Valentina: Oh, it’s good. You know how my dad said that he was banning cell phones because research said they were distracting?
Jamila: How could I forget?
Valentina: What was he doing when he said that?
Sebastian: Being an evil dictator.
Valentina: No. He was using reasons and evidence. And that’s what we’re going to do too.
Sebastian: You mean . . .
Valentina: That’s right. We’re going to write an argumentative essay.
Jamila: Is this a joke?
Sebastian: No, it’s genius! You’re a genius, Valentina. We’ll turn their own weapons against them and crush them mercilessly.
Jamila: With what? A topic sentence?
Valentina: Exactly. But first, we’ve got to come up with our full list of points. So are you guys going to help me or not?
Sebastian: I’m in.
Valentina: Jamila?
Jamila: (sighs) Fine. But if this doesn’t work, you’re doing my homework for the next decade.
Valentina: It’s a deal. Now let’s do this.

Khan Academy video wrapper
Hands off My PhoneSee video transcript

Practice question

Read these lines from the play.
Sebastian: Your life is so bleak right now.
Valentina: (sarcastic) Well, thank you so much for your encouraging words.
How does Valentina's delivery of this line in the audio recording (0:25 - 0:35) compare to the text as it is written?
Choose 1 answer: