Federal authorities became involved last week when a professor at a local college insisted that his students refrain from using their cell phones while in class.
Several of the students defied the professor’s injunction, pulled out their phones during class and engaged in what appeared to be frivolous texting and/or web browsing. The professor, angered by what he perceived to be brazen defiance of his authority, summarily confiscated the phones in question.
Officials admit that what happened next, while highly regrettable, could not have been anticipated by the professor.
t turns out that one of the students, although he appeared to just be sending an endless series of redundant texts to his girlfriend, was in fact helping to facilitate a docking operation at the International Space Station—a docking operation that wound up being canceled because the student lost contact with the spacecraft when his cell phone was taken.
Another of the students, who appeared as if she were idly searching the web for discount Uggs, was in fact engaged in delicate nuclear negotiations with Iran on behalf of the State Department—her sudden removal from the talks turned out to be a major setback in international relations.
A third student, who seemed as if he was just playing a mindless game, was actually in the midst of intervening in a hostage situation—the fate of the hostages he was trying to rescue is currently unknown.
After federal authorities explained the situation, the professor was contrite: “Whatever outward appearances might be, the fact is that most young people who are glued to their cell phones instead of paying attention to the world around them are probably engaged in solving matters of life and death. Lesson learned!”