Swedish students agree with mobile phone ban in schools

Students between the ages of 10 and 15 years have thrown their support behind banning classroom phone use.

A mobile phone ban in schools is a rapid way to drum up controversy. It has already caused many debates in the United States as well as other countries around the world. That said, in Swedish classrooms, students aged 10 to 15 years old have supported the decision to stop the use of phones at school.

With the rapid penetration of smartphones among students, the schools suddenly found themselves falling behind.

The school regulations were not keeping up with the massive rise in smartphone use among students. This allowed policies on the subject to be established on a class by class basis. That said, universal policies regarding phone usage in the classrooms were not created. It was up to the individual teachers. While some implemented an all-out mobile phone ban, the majority decided to simply turn a blind eye.

Many parents opposed a mobile phone ban as they wanted to be able to be in direct contact with their kids.

Mobile Phone BanOver time, the trend toward a smartphone ban became greater among the schools. Still, the degree of the ban was different from one school to the next. Some were far more restrictive than others.

A Norwegian telecommunications company called Telnor recently conducted a survey. Results revealed only 6 percent of students between the ages of 10 and 15 years old in Sweden say smartphones are permitted in their classrooms. Though 53 percent said they can use mobile phones at school, this is not permitted within the class.

That said, there remains 40 percent of Swedish students aged 10 to 15 years who say their smartphones are not banned in any way. Among those, 57 percent support a ban. Only 14 percent feel a ban is bad.

There are many reasons for a mobile phone ban, according to Telnor. Lina Sundqvist is the person at Telnor’s who is responsible for the company’s Nätprat (‘net speak’) initiative and for consumer security. Sundqvist said “The reasons for the bans are many and seem to vary between different schools. Amongst other reasons are: to decrease distractions in the students’ working environments, to make students exercise more during recess, and to decrease internet bullying and abuse.”

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