School Bans Cell Phones to Curb Bullying
The Lähte Coeducational Secondary School in Tartu County has prohibited the use of mobile phones, both in class and during recess, due to a number of recent bullying incidents.
Some pupils, for example, used their phones to take nude pictures in gym class changing rooms and posted them on the internet, principle Üllar Loks told Päevaleht. "If the function of mobile phones these days were only calling, we would not have been forced to make this decision," Loks said.
The school's student representative body, comprised mostly of pupils from the upper secondary level, predicably opposes the decision and has started collecting signatures to overturn the restriction.
Triin Kahre, head of the Association of School Psychologists, said that she has not yet encountered a public school that has completely banned cell phones. "I cannot imagine how parents can accept the fact that they cannot reach their child during recess," she said.
The school, however, argues that parents can contact their children by calling the school if needed.