Legislators in Cyprus are poised to pass a tough law that bans students from bringing mobile phones to school. Jamming handset reception in schools has also been contemplated.
The new law would reprimand students caught carrying a mobile phone on campus. Those caught with a handset turned on could be suspended and anyone filming with a mobile phone would face expulsion.
According to Dr. Zena Poulli, director of secondary education at the Cypriot education and culture ministry, students have been caught text messaging during exams and lessons. Classroom video and pictures have been posted on the Internet, and it is feared this has led to more unruly behavior and violent bullying incidents.
I’m not a fan of banning things. Classroom conduct is the responsibility of the individual teachers. If cheating and not paying attention to lessons is a concern, the teachers should be able to deal with the problems as they arise. Suspension is a serious punishment. Hopefully, school officials will only enforce this sanction in situations where cheating has been proven.
Expulsion is a worst sanction. Schools yard bullies have been around as long as there have been schools. The bullies are the ones that should be expelled, not those who record their misdeeds. Unruly behavior goes hand-in-hand with the education of young people. Anyone with enough education to read this post can remember a time when they misbehaved in school. It is up to the classroom teacher to enforce discipline. Life lessons can be learned from such discipline, along with academic learning.