A survey among 120 schools shows that most schools have no idea how to deal with students’ use of mobile telephones, writes NOS Nieuws.
Two out of three students occasionally use their phones during class to listen to music, play games or look up something on the internet.
‘Teachers are not policemen. We think that bringing mobile phones into the classroom is the responsibility of the parents and, when they are old enough, the children themselves’, one school board member is quoted as saying.
A German teacher says: ‘I am not going to confiscate phones because I know it will cause a confrontation and that will disrupt my class. I’d rather teach.’
According to Liesbeth Hop, spokesperson for the Academie voor Media en Maatschappij (Academy for the Media in Society), schools are naïve. ‘They are not aware of the possibilities of the latest mobile phones’, she says.
Hop says school policies on how to cope with mobile technology and how it is being used are long overdue. ‘And that includes elementary schools. The average mobile telephone user is getting younger all the time.’
Smartphones are not only used for listening to music or playing games but also for bullying. 42 percent of the students who participated in the survey admitted to having engaged in digital bullying at some point.
An example would be to photograph fellow students or teachers and putting the photographs on the internet. Some students blackmailed teachers by threatening to put photographs on the net in order to get better marks.
‘I know of boys who go into the teachers’ toilets, stick their mobiles around the door and take a photograph’, says one student. ‘They think it’s funny and they know the teacher won’t have time to react’.
Sometimes this type of bullying can have far reaching consequences. One teacher tells the story of a colleague who is on sick leave. ‘She had a breakdown because clips of her having a very hard time in the classroom were circulating on the net. She just couldn’t take it anymore.’
This is an unofficial translation
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