PARSOKOLAN, Sweden -- Students at a middle school in this small town in northern Sweden can now chew in the classroom without fear. The school has instituted a new policy that allows students to chew gum in class, provided that they have a "permit" signed by their parents -- and the gum is sugarless.
The new policy was enacted after a review of numerous studies that found gum chewing actually enhances concentration and alertness. The policy, said school officials, has increased student performance.
However, not everyone is happy with the new rules. The National Union of Teachers has criticized the policy in the local press as both "offensive" to teachers and a "substandard" way of handling teaching.