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Friday, 3 March, 2000, 11:11 GMT
Pupils use mobiles to complain to parents
Mobile phones
Mobiles have been used in the UK to organise school fights
An Italian primary school has banned mobile phones after angry pupils told off by teachers were ringing their mothers to complain.

The head teacher of Mazzini di Castelletto school in Genoa has stopped his pupils from bringing phones to school, in an attempt to cut down on the disruption caused by the popularity of mobile phones among his six to eleven year olds.

Pupils in his school and other local primary schools have been disappearing beneath their desks to ring their families and friends - including to ring their parents to complain about reprimands.

Italians have taken to mobile phones in large numbers - with more mobiles than fixed-line phones now in use.

These include mobile phones adapted for use by young children, with large buttons and bright infant-appeal colours.

5 phone fine

Mobile phones have also raised concerns in schools in the United Kingdom. St Bartholomew's School in Newbury, Berkshire, has imposed a 5 fine on pupils whenever their mobile phones ring in class.

And a ban on mobile phones was introduced in Priestnall School in Stockport last month after they were used by pupils to arrange fights with pupils from other schools.

Mobile phones have also been used to promote safety in schools. A bullied girl in Nottingham was allowed to use a phone to ring teachers if she felt threatened - and in California in the United States mobile phones were given to teachers to be used to make emergency calls if they fear attack.

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