Victorian school students have been slapped with a brand-new phone ban, but not everyone is too pleased with this shock move.
Students at all public schools in Victoria will no longer be able to use their phones during school hours, even during recess and lunch, under newly introduced legislation.
The move has been put in place following Education Minister James Merlino’s push to put a stop to cyber-bullying, and is set to be enforced as of next year.
“This will remove a major distraction from our classrooms so that teachers can teach and students can learn in a more focused, positive and supported environment,” Mr Merino said in a statement.
“Half of all young people have experienced cyber-bullying. By banning mobiles we can stop it at the school gate.”
Victorian Association of State Secondary Schools president Sue Bell, told 3AW’s Ross and John the ban seems “too prohibitive for older students”.
“For young kids yes, they’re not emotionally or socially ready, but for senior students they use them as a tool just like any other adults does,:” she said on the show this morning.
“It’s a shame to take away the right of individual schools to work out what it is they’re going to do. It will only work if students are involved in coming up with a solution.”
There have been mixed opinions on the topic, but primarily, even staff and parents are disappointed with this move.
“As a teacher I don’t agree with this move. Phones can be a very handy pedagogical tool, and they need to learn how to use them in a safe manner,” a woman said in a Facebook post on the ban.
Hudson Varley from a Melbourne secondary school, expressed his dismay at the new legislation. “I completely understand if they ban the phones during class-time, however, I do not understand why they’d need to ban the phones during lunch and recess,” said Mr Varley.
The ban will apply to recess, lunch, and other break periods, too. In the case of an emergency, parents or guardians can reach their child through the school. The only exceptions to the ban will be in the case of health related matters, or where a teacher has specified they wish for students to be on their mobile devices.