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NY teacher challenges pupils: No phone for 1 week

April 4, 2014
Associated Press

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (AP) — A high school literature teacher in New York has made a novel come to life by challenging her students to give up cellphones and social media for one week.

Melissa Mehling tells WCBS-TV ( ) Friday she asked her sophomore classes to surrender their smartphones as part of a lesson on Ray Bradbury's famous "Fahrenheit 451."

In that 1953 dystopian novel, books are burned while society is distracted by mass media.

Of the 74 students in Mehling's English classes at Long Island's Carle Place High School, 53 completed the challenge while 21 gave in and used phones.

She says adjusting to the unplugged life was hard for some.

The TV station reports one student used a landline phone and another used a dictionary — both for the first time.


Information from: WCBS-TV,



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