Student response to mobile phone ban

The author of the piece smiles into the camera, standing in front of a brightly coloured mural.

We are a generation that is glued to our phones. To me, phones only become a distraction if you make them one. While I do think that phones are somewhat useful in schools, they definitely serve a great distraction in schools. Students feel more engaged in their learning without their phones, and disengaged with their phones. However, phones can also be used as a productive measure as well. If I can’t get down what’s on the board in time, I’ll take a photo of it and copy it down when I have time. But how can we be sure to say that students are disengaged because of phones? A lot of schools, like mine use a common sense approach. You use your phone for educational purposes.

Nowadays, our world revolves around convenience. A lot of schools use the software system “Compass” to show students room changes, substitute teachers and tasks that need to be completed, a lot of which is more easier and convenient for students via their phones.

Cyber bullying doesn’t really happen during school hours

I can understand the bullying factor, it’s a big problem prevalent in an educational setting that we should continue to address, educate and find ways to minimise. But bullying, especially cyber bullying, doesn’t really happen during school hours, at least in my experience. Banning phones in schools doesn’t really solve the problem of cyberbullying in my eyes because a lot of it happens out of school hours.

A lot of parents concern about the safety of their child, and for the right reasons. So what happens if I need to call my mum or an emergency pops up and my parents don’t have access to my school? Or what if the school is too busy with contacting in contacting everybody’s parents? I don’t want to wait until the end of the day only to see 10 miss calls from my mum. What happens if lockers are broken into and devices are stolen? Parents are now the ones who have to pay the price.

While I see the benefits to this law, this is a law that has to be carefully considered to ensure the best outcome for students is met. But the one question for me still remains. Where do students play a role in this? Where is OUR say in this law? Students won’t follow a ban that they had no say in! Especially in a matter like this that is particularly relevant to us.

About the author

John-Paul VicSRC Executive Committee 2018-20