Schools in Vienna discuss possible phone ban

Several schools in Vienna are currently considering whether they can ban mobile phones. Phones often disturb the lessons and students also use their smartphones in the breaks. The school board of the city opposes a complete ban.

International studies show that nine out of ten teenagers have a mobile phone and half of them have a smartphone. The board of schools is currently discussing a phone ban. This is a decision of student representatives, teachers and parents and not a regulation of the principals.

The Gymnasium (Secondary and High School) Wasagasse in Vienna-Alsergrund is discussing whether phones should also be banned during breaks. In contrast, Gymnasium Contiweg in Vienna-Donaustadt is considering revoking the phone ban.

Students should learn how to handle phones better, the principal Monika Auböck told “Radio Wien”.

The schools in Vienna can determine by themselves whether phones are allowed or not. In most cases, phones need to be switched off or made silent during the lessons but they may be used during the breaks.

Some teachers use phones actively in the lessons. Susanne Brandsteidl, president of the Vienna school board recommends this regulation. She changed her mind and now opposes a complete ban of phones.

In 2005, the Medical Association of Vienna warned of possible health problems due to phone radiation and advised the schools to ban phones.

Susanne Neumann, a physics teacher from Vienna, uses phones as part of her lessons. She uses small free programmes in order to illustrate the syllabus. For example, phones can simulate earthquake meters, determine tone pitches etc.