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Dad made to hand over phone on school visit. Thoughts?


We'd love to know what you think about today's news story about a dad who was forced to hand over his mobile phone when he went to see his daughter's school art exhibition.

David Burns, a father of six from Cornwall, says he was made to feel like a paedophile when school staff told him to leave his phone at reception in case he took unauthorised pictures of other children.

'They said they were sorry but you can't come in with a mobile phone in case you take pictures,' David says.

'I was flabbergasted. I went back outside and waited in the car – I was so angry. I am a parent – not a paedophile.

'You can't treat the whole world like they're paedophiles – we're parents.'

The school, Tregolls School, in Truro, introduced the no-phones ruling last year. Posters detailing the policy are displayed on the main entrance door to the school.

'The rule applies to absolutely everyone,' says the chair of governors. 'When Henry Winkler the US actor came here he handed in his phone and when Ofsted inspectors visited they did as well. We felt this was the ultimate safeguarding solution.'

What do you think?

Do you reckon the school are just being sensible, given the current concern about child abuse and people posting pictures of other people's children on social networks without permission?

Or do you think it's wrong to treat every parent as though, in David's words, 'they are a paedophile'?

Please do let us know by posting on this thread. We'd love to hear your views.


  • There is a similar 'no photos' rule at my little girls school, that goes for all school events and plays, but this school has obviously taken a really hard line stance . The man was not singled out, as it has been stated, and if i was asked to do the same, I would have handed over my phone, even if I didn't really agree as although it may seem extreme, they only have the children's best interests in mind. It is not just about 'treating everyone as a potential paedophile'  privacy policy are all encompassing, i wouldn't want someone I don't know taking pictures my children might be in (no matter how innocently it has been done) and sticking them on their social media. Also it has not been mentioned if parents at this school had breached trust with regards photography in anyway (i.e, showing blatant disregard for the rules), leading to such a decision being made.

  • My daughters school has the exact same policy.
    Would Mr Burns appreciate it if other parents took photos, maybe capturing his children, and these images then ended up on social media, with lord only knows who looking at them?

    He wasn't singled out. It was school policy. He's the one who mentioned paedophiles, not the school. It's for his children's protection. Get over it Mr Burns, move on.

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