The news reports a controversy over the use of a device that gives a shrill, piercing noise intended to repel teenage loiters. The $1500 device called the mosquito is bothersome only to children over 12 years of age can be heard by few people beyond the early twenty’s because this age range have sensitive hair cells in their inner ears. Whether you can hear it depends upon how much your hearing has deteriorated. Since being put on the market over a 1000 units have been sold. They are mounted to a wall and the ultrasound device drives away young people who loiter in the area of the device as well as skateboarders and other unwanted youngsters. The American Civil Liberties Union and others believe it is an improper intrusion into privacy and basic rights. It has caused controversy and some cities have passed laws to ban its use.
When I read about this I was reminded of a suburban Chicago high school teacher I read about in the 1990’s who was in the news then because of his "Frank Sinatra Detention Club." Twenty four year old Bruce Janu was a dedicated fan of the late Frank Sinatra so when he was assigned the detention room he used a form of punishment by playing Frank Sinatra records for a solid half an hour, often singing along himself. Time Magazine, USA Today, and other national news outlets picked on the story and wrote about it. Janu was quoted as saying:
"The kids just hate it. They’re miserable"
He explained the students prefer rap and heavy music, but they are required to listen – no talking or writing. He invites them to sing along, but says so far, no one has expressed any interest in doing it. Discipline improved after his plan was put into effect.
So, my recommendation to the people paying $1500 for the device is that they instead buy a few inexpensive Frank Sinatra CD"s and simply play them nonstop. I’m confident it will have the same result as the device and without inflicting hearing pain on the kids.