28 March 2024

The Middle School mobile phone ban: a contentious decision with innumerable benefits

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The Middle School mobile phone ban: a contentious decision with innumerable benefits
The Middle School mobile phone ban: a contentious decision with innumerable benefits
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In our Middle School, we often find ourselves navigating various decisions regarding rules and regulations, with some being well-received and others less so. One particularly contentious decision has been the introduction of a strict ban on mobile phones. While we previously had a mobile phone ban in place, it wasn't enforced as rigorously as it is now. Despite initial resistance from students and some parents, the firm implementation of the mobile phone policy is gaining increasing support and momentum with each passing day.

Our Middle School students are now embracing the mobile phone ban, leading to a significant decrease in the number of students breaking the rules. During the initial phase of mobile phone detentions, we had a whopping 55 students attending one lunchtime detention, whereas now we're fortunate to have one or two students in detention. Interestingly, the students who presented at this first detention were asked to reflect on the mobile phone rule – their reflections were priceless. Almost all students, while not happy about the detention, shared that with the mobile ban in place, they felt calmer, less stressed, less distracted and, most importantly, safer. Many were more specific, stating that it was nice not to have their phone buzzing constantly in their pockets.

The more stringent mobile phone policy has resulted in numerous unforeseen advantages, such as a noticeable uptick in creativity and engagement in recreational pursuits among our students. Macafee Courts, Sandell Oval and our CRASH clubs are now vibrant hubs of activity, witnessing a surge in student involvement and enthusiasm. Teachers have been impressed by the significant decline in issues related to mobile phones, particularly the decrease in cyberbullying, unauthorised photography, online gaming and social media usage during school hours. An unexpected positive outcome has been the considerable reduction in toilet vandalism, which could potentially be attributed to a negative trend on TikTok.

The ban has brought about numerous and varied benefits, with a strong emphasis on promoting a culture of focussed learning. We take immense pride in the wholehearted adoption of the ban by our Middle School students, the diligent enforcement efforts of our staff, and the unwavering support provided by parents. In addition to enjoying a peaceful learning environment, our students are preparing for upcoming camp experiences such as Toona, Hattah, Wabonga, the Immersive Program and Zero, all of which stress the importance of abstaining from mobile phone usage.

The mobile phone policy has been a great success, supported by students and staff alike. Moving forward, we aim to bolster the ban to meet Government Schools' standards, emphasising our commitment to academic focus and student wellbeing. Through continued refinement and enforcement, we strive to promote responsible technology use and enhance engagement in all school activities.

Harry Dendle
Deputy Head of Middle School – Student Wellbeing


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