Pupils uploading at school face expulsion

Greece
Sun, 24 Mar 2024 10:55 GMT
Education Ministry to draft ‘penalty protocol’ to enforce ban on mobile phones during class hours.
Pupils uploading at school face expulsion

Students who post videos on social media exposing or mocking their classmates during school hours will be expelled, according to the Education Ministry

It is the most severe penalty provided for in the penal code of the Education Ministry, which now aims to comply with the ban on mobile phones at Greek schools.

The ban is included in circulars from the ministry but is observed by very few students, while the teachers are very flexible. The problem is most acute among older children, in middle school and senior high. Cellphones have now become the primary vehicle for forms of digital school bullying. Following in the footsteps of other European countries, Denmark in particular, the Education Ministry is to draft a “penalty protocol,” with the aim of enforcing the ban on mobile phones in schools. Each offense will correspond to a specific penalty. Its aim is to make it easier for teachers, who on the one hand have to deal with the behaviors of teenagers and on the other with pressure from their parents to be gentle with their children. As a teacher at a private school in Athens told Kathimerini, so far, for every punishment imposed, there is the excuse of the students that “everyone has mobile phones in class,” and of their parents that “other schools are not strict.”

It will now become mandatory for students to hand in their cellphones at school at the start of classes. The penalty for students found with their phone in class will be suspension, from an hour to a day in the case of a relapse.

“This is a new form of violence. We have complaints that many children take videos in the bathrooms to make fun of their classmates or create deepfake videos – i.e. edited videos through AI apps,” a high-ranking ministry official told Kathimerini. “A penalty will be automatically imposed on the pupil, from the moment he/she posts on social media a video from within the school,” he added, while stressing that posting another student’s personal data without their consent will lead to the culprits being kicked out of the school for good.

It is widely accepted that the use of digital devices by students during school is a distraction.

“A study in the context of the PISA 2022 competition showed that one in three students seems to be distracted by digital devices at school. Also 25% of pupils are distracted when their classmates use digital devices during the lesson,” said Chryssa Sofianopoulou, associate professor in the Department of Informatics and Telematics at the Harokopio University of Athens​​​​​.

kathimerini

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