Phone bans don’t work: Oz expert

After two girls were suspended from Ascham School – a boarding school for girls in an eastern suburb of Sydney – for harassing fellow students, “the school sent a letter to parents urging them to take their children’s mobile phones away from them at night to try and stop abusive messages circulating,” ABC News Australia reports. But ABC talked with the general manager of Kids Helpline, a free phone counseling service for Australians 5-25, who said that she’s “wary about confiscating phones and warns parents they need to be careful not to alienate their children too much.” She said bans can work against the victims as much as against the bullies. She told ABC that the victims could go “further inside themselves,” which makes it tougher for caregivers and school officials to know what’s going on with them, and “13- and 14-year-olds like the girls involved at Ascham are the most likely to be affected.”

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