A JUDGE has ruled teachers can look at student’s mobile phones in cases when telephone content may be detrimental to the learning environment.

The ruling was passed in favour of the head master of a Madrid school who checked the mobile phone of a 12 year old boy, following complaints from a female pupil the boy had shown her a sexual video.

The National Court of Madrid backed the teacher, saying the right to the protection of data can be constrained by the presence of other conflicting rights.

The headmaster opened a sanction against the boy in November 2011 after checking his phone along with an IT teacher.

The father appealed twice, arguing the teacher had contravened data protection laws, but both the National Court and Data Protection Agency ruled in favour of the teacher.

The National Court judge said: ‘I recognise that the teacher accessed data of a personal nature, and because of the boy’s age, he should have first asked for permission from the parents.

“However in this case, the phone was accessed as part of a disciplinary procedure, which was undertaken following a complaint from a girl who felt violated by the audio visual archive which was repeatedly shown to her by the boy.

“To that end, I will act in the protection of the rights of the girl, and of other minors in the centre.”


  1. Thank you, National Court. I find having cellphones in the classroom so disruptive and hearing the horrid stories from other colleagues makes me want to scream. Thank goodness my students(so far) are too young to have them.

  2. Christine, just buy a cellphone blocker. They block all mobile phones etc in the immediate area. That’s what I used to use when teaching and it was funny seeing the reactions on peoples faces when they looked to their phone and… no signal lol.

  3. @Fred, I am not sure if that would be legal. You might find yourself in hot water.

    Anyone know the legal status of phones in the classroom? No disrespect but anyone who ‘Knows’ and doesn’t just think they know.