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South Korean student petitions school over cellphone restriction

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By HADIZA MOHAMMED

Seoul- A South Korean high school student has filed a petition with the
National Human Rights Commission of Korea, claiming that the boarding school’s excessive cellphone restriction violates his human rights.

The student, whose name was withheld, was from an undisclosed school in North Gyeongsang Province in Seoul.

The student claimed that the school has banned mobile phones and other kinds of electronic devices not only during regular
class hours but also after-school time inside dormitory rooms.

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea on Wednesday said banning high school students from using cellphones and
other kinds of electronic devices inside dormitory rooms infringes upon their human rights.

The commission made the recommendation, urging the school’s principal to stop the current ban on on-campus wireless communication
regulations and to amend the school’s dormitory management rules.

It acknowledged that it was justifiable for the school to limit cellphone usage inside of school as it could cause inconvenience to teachers
and other students.

The commission however said it was excessive and beyond the limit that schools ban mobile phones for dorm time other than regular class hours.

“Completely banning cellphone usage even during dormitory life violates the principle of proportionality, which violates freedom of general
behaviour and freedom of communication,” the commission said.

The watchdog also said putting too many limitations infringes upon students’ rights to pursue happiness through searching for
information and having hobbies. (Yonhap/NAN)

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