THE Sunday Herald is not the type of newspaper which calls for bans every other week. 'Ban this filth' is never a headline you'll see in this paper. We are liberal in our attitudes, and believe all our readers are intelligent and worldly enough to decide for themselves whether something is good or bad.

However, the use of mobile phones in schools is a different matter. First of all, it is hardly draconian to say that schools should be a place of ordered learning and phones filled with apps and distraction should really have no place in a classroom.

However, concerns over the deleterious effect of the mobile phone on the attention spans of pupils is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their use in schools. As we report today, the mobile phone is now the instrument of criminal sexual abuse of girls and women teachers in schools across the land. Each day boys are taking illegal pictures of schoolgirls and female teachers without their consent, using them for their own titillation, posting them online and swapping them at school.

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Even without this epidemic of grotesque voyeurism, the presence of phones in schools should already have been at the centre of a debate on the damage they do to learning - with the added horror of sexual abuse, it is clear that the days of the mobile must be numbered when it comes to the classroom. And so, we welcome the moves by cross-party parliamentarians to bring the issue before Holyrood. To the naysayers, who will claim phones are needed for learning, we would reply - read a book, use a classroom computer, ask the teacher. And to those who say phones are needed for parents to stay in touch with their children, we would suggest they ring the school office.