By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- Banning high school students from using cellphones and other kinds of electronic devices inside dormitory rooms infringes upon their human rights, the state rights watchdog said Wednesday.
A high school student, whose name was withheld, from an undisclosed school in North Gyeongsang Province filed a petition with the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, claiming that the boarding school's excessive cellphone restriction violates his human rights.
The student claimed that the school bans access to mobile phones and other kinds of electronic devices not only during regular class hours but also during after-school time inside dormitory rooms.
The commission made the recommendation in March, urging the school's principal to stop the current ban on on-campus wireless communication regulations and to amend the school's dormitory management rules.
The commission acknowledges it is justifiable for the school to limit cellphone usage inside of school as it could cause inconvenience to teachers and other students.
The commission, however, said it is excessive and beyond the limit that schools ban mobile phones for dorm time other than regular class hours.
"Completely banning cellphone usage even during dormitory life violates the principle of proportionality, which violates freedom of general behavior and freedom of communication," the commission said.
The watchdog also said putting too many limitations infringes upon students' rights to pursue happiness through searching for information and having hobbies.
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