Should mobile phones be banned from classrooms?
The chief inspector of schools is calling for their prohibition, says Catherine Bennett, and many teachers heartily concur. But this problem isn't limited to children. When it comes to being distracted by phones, parents are just as bad: they blithely tap away during meetings or meals. Politicians are the worst offenders. It's becoming ever more common to see MPs "curled over their phones and iPads in the chamber or tweeting incessantly", presumably in the belief that this "multi-distractedness is a token of cool super-modernity". David Cameron's inability to stop fiddling with gadgets even extended to the Royal wedding, during which he apparently used a quiet moment to text Jeremy Clarkson. A few aisles away. David Furnish seemed to be likewise engaged next to his partner, Elton John, who looked on with that expression of "blank indulgence routinely adopted by people whose companions" indulge in such rude behaviour. How can we expect children to behave better with their phones' when we set them such a bad example?