1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Confiscation of mobile phones

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by mjbb73, May 21, 2007.

  1. My next door neighbour has a son who is a Year 9 student. He is a well behaved young man who does very well at school and is a credit to his parents.

    His mum told me that he has had his mobile phone confiscated for 2 weeks because it went off in a class. She has contacted school to try and discuss this issue but they have said point blank that he is not getting it back until the 2 weeks is up. the boy has written a letter of apology to the teacher but it was thrown in the bin in front of him!

    What feelings do people out there have on this issue? I feel that to keep a students phone for that length of time is totally unacceptable and is opening the school up to all sorts of issues if the young man needs it in an emergency say when he is with friends at a weekend.
     
  2. My next door neighbour has a son who is a Year 9 student. He is a well behaved young man who does very well at school and is a credit to his parents.

    His mum told me that he has had his mobile phone confiscated for 2 weeks because it went off in a class. She has contacted school to try and discuss this issue but they have said point blank that he is not getting it back until the 2 weeks is up. the boy has written a letter of apology to the teacher but it was thrown in the bin in front of him!

    What feelings do people out there have on this issue? I feel that to keep a students phone for that length of time is totally unacceptable and is opening the school up to all sorts of issues if the young man needs it in an emergency say when he is with friends at a weekend.
     
  3. Whether the boy is a well behaved or not his negligence of leaving the phone on caused a disruption to the lesson. The presence of mobile phones in school causes all sorts of problems. The boy?s punishment of loosing the phone for two weeks will certainly deter him and his classmates from leaving the phone on again. I think that your neighbour should understand that teaching and learning comes first in the classroom. If your neighbour is so concerned about her boy?s safety at the weekends without a phone I'm sure she could lend him her own or that of another family members. I think it's important for good of the boy?s education and that others in the school that your neighbour supports the school on this one.
     
  4. Gosh, what did we all do before mobile phones? I don't understand why people can no longer do without them. I manage without - so can a Year 9 students. What is the school policy? To confiscate for two weeks seems draconian even to me, and I'm a nasty cow. I don't like keeping anything overnight, and as a rule don't. It all depends on the school's policy, though, and whether or not the parents have signed a home-school contract.
     
  5. We give phones back at the end of the day, although I think a compromise would be that the parents should come and collect them.

    It depends on the policy really, although I do think she is within her rights to ask.
     
  6. I would have thought that they could get the phone back whenever they wanted to - the phone is not the school's property.
     
  7. school's have a legal right to confiscate.

    I do think 2 weeks is excessive though.
     
  8. I think it could be theft. The length of time the school are holding on to the phone might mean that their actions constiture an act of theft under the terms of the Act. For it not to be theft the phone would have to be returned at the earliest opportunity. What a policy might say is totally irrelvant.
     
  9. But the school don't intend to permanently deprive the kid of the phone. Still do think that 2 weeks is too long. I rally don't like taking responsibility for it. And, frankly, I wouldn't like to have the discussion with the parent.Kid done wrong, kid needs to be punished. I am a real cow, but even I wouldn't take the phone for that long. I'd lose it, for a start.
     
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    If it's the school's policy, and the parents and pupils are aware of it, the parent hasn't a leg to stand on.

    We have a similar policy (covering all sorts of unnecessary equipment, jewellery, etc) and it's been run past the legal bods.

    I'd also echo what others have said regarding the notion that the boy 'needs' his phone. What DID we do before mobiles? Presumably no 14 year old was ever allowed out at weekends? I find it a never-ending nonsense when parents and children claim they 'need' a mobile 'in case they are attacked' - what are they going to do, beat the assailant off with it?

    And I'll have some people screaming at me for this, but those poor little girls murdered by Huntley had a mobile with them.

    I think some parents think a mobile guarantees their child's safety and therefore stops them having to think too hard about supervision.
     
  11. I'm honestly not sure that it's a matter of safety - more a matter of street cred. You have to have the latest phone, at all costs. And it really does cost.
    They are banned at our school (although they all have them; if they are in the bottom of their bag, though, no one knows).
    Hilariously, I have dealt with one instance of a parent actually texting their child during a lesson. This was directly after I had spoken to the parent, reassuring them that the child was fine, and that if I had any worries I would get back to them immediately. Marvellous, the support parents give in our place.
     
  12. The Theft Act states that "a person is guilty of theft if: he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it". Confiscation for a given period of time is clearly not theft.
     
  13. If the teenager has the latest, high spec. phone that costs a packet this actually makes them MORE likely to be a victim of an assault as they have something worth attacking them for. (The most likely motive for any attack being theft / robbery.)
    No child NEEDS a phone at school. If there's a genuine emergency then school will allow the office phone to be used, just as they did in our day!
    I'm not going to condemn anyone for pointing out the obvious. A determined attacker isn't going to allow anyone, child or adult, to phone for help first!
    BTW, I too think 2 weeks is excessive and I can be a bit of a fascist at times! Parents should be made aware of any such consequences in the home school agreement and we could argue that it's school policy. But is this written in tablets of stone never to be reviewed? (By this, I don't mean so that it seems parents can alter a decision they're not happy with, because it affects THEIR Precious, simply by whinging enough!)
     
  14. hahhaha - can you imagine....

    (......attacker creeps quietly out of wooded area with knife....jumps on child with knife at throat.)

    "HAND OVER YOUR MONEY NOW!!!!!!!!!"

    "Oh, hang on, I'd just like to call my mum first....."

    "No problem, love, I can wait...."

     
  15. Glad you think the whole issue of a child being safe is so funny coolasacucumber. I believe we live in a society where it is essential for us to know, as parents, where our children are and mobile phones are a medium through which this can be done.

    I asked the question on the forum initially to gauge the thoughts of fellow professionals as to the appropriateness of a mobile phone being confiscated for 2 weeks to enable me to offer some advice to a concerned parent.

    The school have now given the young man his phone back and admitted they were wrong to confiscate it for so long and admitted they were in the wrong for not contacting the parents in a proper way. That has not happened as a result of endless whining by the parent merely as a result of the boy writing a letter to the teacher offering a full apology supported by a letter from his dad.

     
  16. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I still believe that the possession of mobile phones does not make children any safer. So you ring them, and they tell you where they are - how are they safer for that? Especially if they fib - which is not beyond the bounds of possibility if they're in a place you'd rather they weren't.

    Far safer to have proper curfew times, strictly observed, as we did before mobiles were invented. I actually believe mobiles are making children take more risks than in the days when saying 'I'll be at Jake's house' meant a parent could actually ring the house and check.

    When we confiscate mobiles (because they disrupt lessons) and parents do the 'I need to know where he is at weekends when he's out' we say 'Keep him in, then.'
     
  17. As far as I can remember they didn't have mobile phones when I was a kid... and yes I think I survived!!! I'm 'only' 33!

    Sorry Mjbb etc, the notion of children NEEDING a mobile phone is completely ridiculous, tell that to kids in Africa!

    A mobile phone is a luxury consumer item no more.
     
  18. err no mjbb73 I am not suggesting I find the thought of a child being attacked funny, I am saying that the thought of them being able to ring for help in the event of someone attacking them is totally ridiculous. It was a laugh of incredulity that a phone would help the situation.

    When parents phone us to complain that their child's £260 phone has been nicked and can we 'sort it out', we say to them that we always recommend they buy their child the most basic old fashioned looking phones. In one incident where a group of 3 of our Year 9 kids were set upon in the woods by a gang for their phones, 3 of them had their phones stolen, the fourth one's phone was so unattractive and old that they didn't bother. Obviously they don't want to because they support their kids in their desire to have the newest most attractive all-singing all-dancing phone to show off to friends.

    I am sorry you were unable to understand my post.

     
  19. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Two weeks? Pshaw - we confiscate them for three!
    Every student has the opportunity to hand them in to a secure area in the office during the day - as they should not be calling their parents or each other during lesson time. At break or lunch they can use the payphone or ask at the office in an emergency.
    This rule is reinforced in every newsletter and there are no exceptions. If they don't want it confiscated, they just have to hand it in.

    My PDA has Bluetooth and the number of kids who leave their phone on with Bluetooth enabled - and a recognisable name for their phone - is surprisingly high. They'll probably get wise to this the more I confiscate phones that I haven't even seen out of pockets. They still initially try and deny it though!
     
    PRUman likes this.
  20. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    We confiscate for two weeks because the initial 'end of day' wasn't enough to deter.

    As I saty frequently to kids and parents who complain, 'If I didn't see or hear it, I wouldn't be able to take it.' End of.
     

Share This Page