Parent of ACS (Barker Road) Sec 2 student sues school for confiscating phone for 3 months -- and fails

The father of a Secondary 2 student from Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) is suing the school principal for damages after his son's iPhone 7 was confiscated.

His son had been caught using his phone during school hours on Mar 8, reports Lianhe Zaobao.

On Mar 21, the boy met with the principal, Mr Peter Tan, and confessed to using his phone when he was not supposed to.

His phone was subsequently confiscated before his SIM card was returned to him along with a receipt indicating that he could collect his phone again in three months.

Later that same evening, the boy's father emailed the principal telling him that the phone was his and that he wanted it back.

Failing to get a reply, the father decided to sue the principal.

His lawyer, Andrew Hanam's case for this is that retaining the phone amounts to the tort of conversion which is denying a person his rights to his own property.

He also asked the court to get the school to return the phone immediately while the case is being decided.

District Judge Clement Tan turned down the parent's request to have the phone returned and ruled that the principal was justified in holding on to the phone, reports The Straits Times.

In a letter sent out to parents on Jan 3, it is clearly stated that any student caught using a phone during school hours will have it confiscated for at least three months.

In the letter, Mr Tan wrote:

"We would prefer that your son/ward does not bring handphones or other unauthorized electronic devices to school as they pose a distraction from learning… All students found flouting this rule will have the devices confiscated for 3-months."

What do you think of the parent's decision to sue the school? If you were the parent what would you have done?