High school students revolt over mobile phone ban

AN ONLINE petition started by high school students is gaining momentum to overturn a new mobile phone ban.

A change.org petition is calling on Harristown State High School to be "more lenient" with mobile phones.

Supporters of the petition suggest students are no longer allowed to be seen with mobile phones from 8.30am-3pm on the school grounds.

Previously they said phones could be used during lunch breaks.

The petition states: "We believe that this new policy is not necessary. We do not believe that we should have such a major punishment for just having our phones out."

"We can have our phones out without having such a major consequence. We want to be able to use our phones during lunch and go back to the old phone policy."

The school's website currently states the mobile phones and personal technology devices policy as:

"When used as a teaching tool under teacher direction these devices should be used appropriately and responsibly. At other times they should be turned off and out of sight. These items are brought to school at the risk of the owner."

The petition on change.org.
The petition on change.org.

A Harristown State High School spokeswoman told The Chronicle the school could not reveal its new phone policy until its Parents and Citizens' Association (P&C) informed the entire school community, which would take a fortnight.

While it is not officially determined what the "major punishment" is for students caught with their phones, supporters have posted their outrage on the petition site.

Khloé Mott said students would be "red carded" if caught with their phones then the phones would be confiscated.

Dylan Jeans said: "Not having our phones from 8.30am until 3pm is over the line."

Should students be allowed mobile phones at school?

This poll ended on 26 February 2017.

Current Results

Yes

33%

No

66%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Nicholas Hogan said mobile phones were necessary in the event of an emergency.

"What if our parents call and it's an emergency and we don't have our phones to contact them to see if they are okay and not in danger?" he said.

Former student Leslie Robinson believed she was more productive when not forced to hide her phone.

"When I attended this school I worked a hell of a lot better when I was able to have my phone out, listen to my music (and) send a quick text," she said.

"With phones, we're too busy trying to hide them that we can't focus on school - trust me the difference is huge."

Katie Preston said the new rule was too strict.

"Why confiscate their phones when it could only be in their hands while getting something out of their pockets?" she said.

"Students aren't allowed their phones in class yet teachers are allowed to have theirs off silent and still be able to take phone calls and messages."

The Chronicle contacted Harristown State High School and Education Queensland for further comment.


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