NASUWT has called for "tighter controls on the use of mobile phones in schools" (see the BBC report: Case prompts mobile crackdown call). In a quote reported in same BBC news item, the union's general secretary says:
"What we had in that classroom was an explosive situation of a combination of a teacher who was in a fragile state, of pupils who were set to exploit that fragile state and mobile technology that acted as a catalyst to make the whole situation escalate extremely quickly."Up to "...exploit that fragile state" I was in broad agreement. I'm not convinced though that the absence of mobile technology would have changed the outcome. Pupils have always exploited weakness. Pupils have always egged each other on so that pupils within a mob behave in a way that they wouldn't if they were on their own. I remember classes acting like this, deliberately winding up a teacher, when I was a pupil and there wasn't a mobile phone in sight. (Mostly because they hadn't been invented!)
That the behaviour of all concerned was unacceptable (and I include the school authorities here) is beyond dispute. That mobile phones are the catalyst of such behaviour seems less clear. However, I'm just guessing. I have no evidence to support or refute my assertion. But I suspect that the NASUWT's has no real evidence for its claim either.
Does anyone know of any evidence one way or the other?