If nobody obeys a certain rule, doesn't it make more sense to abolish the rule itself? That's what an Aussie researcher at the University of Tasmania, Martin Beattie, is suggesting for mobile phone usage in classrooms.
His reasoning is that school rules to stop students text messaging have little effect on their wards. So teachers might as well embrace the technology instead of trying to ban it.
Over 90 per cent of high school students surveyed used their mobile phones at school.
In the schools with a strict no-phone policy, 85 per cent of students in Years 9 and 10 said they sent SMS text messages without teacher permission.
Beattie said rules trying to ban text messaging were almost useless.
"So teachers should get over it and incorporate mobile phones into everyday routines," News.com.au quoted Beattie, as saying.
"Virtually all the high school students I surveyed own mobile phones and see it as their right to use them at school," he added.
Beattie, who surveyed 105 students, said they had sound communication-based reasons for sending text messages.
He said that the students rarely contacted their friends in the same classroom.
They contacted friends out of class or school 62 per cent of the time and parents accounted for 30 per cent of texts.
Students also used text messaging to help their studies or deal with emergencies such as getting details of medical appointments or transport.
"An interesting point is that 67 per cent of parents contact their children during school hours, mostly to remind them of medical appointments or other commitments," he said.
Beattie said schools should start incorporating mobile phone use into school routines.
"After all, there's nothing quite like the private text message that quietly reads: 'The principal would like to see you in her office now'," he said.