Teachers Can Confiscate Cellphones

Teachers in Swedish schools are going to be allowed to take mobile phones off pupils who disrupt their classes and students who are even more troublesome could be expelled, even if their parents don’t agree.

The Swedish Parliament approved the legislation on Thursday.  While teachers will also be allowed to search through pupils’ lockers, they cannot look in their bags or do bodysearches.

School Minister Jan Björklund says he thinks Swedes want to have more tests and more discipline in the country’s education system because grades are falling compared to other countries. He’s also worried that there are more teachers who aren’t suitably qualified than ever before.

But a new survey suggests teachers don’t agree with his rather damning verdict on Swedish schools and the Swedish Teachers Union says the minister isn’t getting to grips with the real problems, such as the need to reduce class sizes.