Parent of ACS (Barker Road) student whose handphone got confiscated by school for 3 months drops case

The parent of a Secondary 2 student from Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) who went to court after suing the school for holding his son's confiscated phone for three months has dropped the case.

A school's spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday (Nov 9) that the parent was ordered by the court to pay costs to the school.

The case caused a flurry online when it was first reported in June this year.

In an earlier Stomp report, the boy had met with the principal of the school, Mr Peter Tan, and confessed to using his iPhone 7 when he was not supposed to.

The phone was subsequently confiscated and the boy was given his SIM card and a receipt indicating that he could collect it in three months on June 20.

The boy's father emailed the principal, telling him that the phone belonged to him and that he wanted it back.

When he did not get a reply, he decided to sue the school.

Both the father and the son were aware of the school's rule that clearly stated if any student was caught using a phone during school hours, his phone would be confiscated for at least three months.

The father then filed a court action alleging that retaining the phone amounted to the tort of conversion, which involves denying a person's rights to his 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 on Apr 28 to have the phone returned and ruled that the principal was justified in holding on to the phone.

The school said on Thursday that there was no change to its policy on the use of mobile phones in the wake of this case, reports The Straits Times.

"This requires our students to keep their handphones in their lockers during school hours," a spokesman said.

It is believed the student is no longer with the school.