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Rishi Sunak's Mobile Ban Video Mocked, Sparks Political Jabs

 

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced a wave of ridicule and criticism after he shared a video on social media attempting to endorse a ban on mobile phones in schools. In the 50-second clip posted on X (formerly Twitter), Sunak humorously simulated constant phone interruptions to illustrate the disruptive nature of mobile phones in classrooms.

Despite Sunak's intentions to highlight the distraction and bullying caused by phones in schools, the video received a less-than-favorable response. Social media users criticized the clip as 'cringeworthy,' questioning Sunak's acting skills and comparing it to "GCSE drama."

Seizing the opportunity, the opposition Labour Party released a parody video where Sunak checks his phone, revealing mock notifications highlighting issues like the UK's recession, NHS waiting lists, and immigration challenges.

The UK government emphasized that the new guidance for schools aims to "minimize disruption and improve behavior." Education Secretary Gillian Keegan stressed the urgent need for "consistency" and resetting the "social norm" against the presence of phones in schools.

The guidance provides schools with flexibility in implementing the ban, allowing options such as leaving phones at home, handing them in upon arrival, or storing them in inaccessible lockers, as long as they are not used or audible during school hours.

This initiative comes in response to mounting concerns over the distraction posed by smartphones, considering that 97 percent of children own phones by the age of 12, according to Ofcom data. The potential for bullying and access to harmful content via mobile phones has been a significant worry addressed by the government's move

Feb. 20, 2024 5:18 p.m. 1527

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