Kids do not need a mobile phone in school.
I have some fairly strong parenting opinions, mostly I try to keep them to myself because I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who tells other parents what to do, but I do feel strongly about this one, and it’s my blog and sometimes I will share my opinion so there you go.
Our secondary school, who I happen to think very highly of, and where my teenager has thrived and blossomed, recently sent out an email informing parents and children that as of the new term next term, they have a new and fairly strict policy on mobile phone and mobile device use during school.
Basically children in school will not be allowed to use their phones or mobile devices during school hours and if they are caught using their phones in class, in breaks or during activities within school hours, then the phone will be confiscated and it’s a repeat offense then there will be consequences.
The school feels, rightly so that kids do not need a mobile phone in school.
They really don’t. The school feels that phones are a distinction, and also that they can be used for unsavory purposes, access to social media during school hours, and also for bullying. Mobile phones use and access by other adults is also an issue, and the grooming of children via mobile phones can be a problem. So the school is getting tough, and I am all for it. A primary school local to us has had issues with children receiving harassing phone calls, children under 11 years old, and also inappropriate use of mobile phones and social media. Schools should be a safe place for our children and phones during school hours are just not needed.
Your child might need their phone on the way to school to check bus times, and keep in touch if they get stuck, and for the way home from school, but other than that, during school hours, there is no need for a phone. The only exception I can see would be if your child uses their phone for medical purposes to monitor something like their blood sugars if they are diabetic for example. Somethgn like this can be coordinated with the school and worked around, but at the risk of sounding old and dinosaur like, thousands of children up to my generation did not have mobile phones to use, much less take to school, and it didn’t damage us. Less is more where kids and phones are concerned.
I know this has caused uproar with some parents and some children at school and there is updset and a reaction to what seems a arather draconian rule being enforced. Parents concerned “that they can’t contact their children” during the day at school and “phones are expensive, the school can’t just confisacte them”. I am afraid I don’t have much sympathy with either of those. Why do you need to contact your kids at school, and if they have a problem at school then surely you are trusting the school to deal with that.
Your kids will not die, they are not having their human rights infringed if they don’t have access to a phone for a few hours at school. They really really do not need a phone whilst they are doing school work, PE, socialising with their friends, interacting with teachers, learning and doing normal life at school.
My friend Iris from Digiscope is someone who’s opinon I value around issues such as mobile phone use, social media access for children etc, and she has a very helpful video with some thoughts on when a child is ready for a mobile phone, that might be helpful if you are trying to decide if your child needs one and hasn’t got one yet, or you may even be thinking that the phone they have needs to be removed until they are older and better able to handle having a phone.
You can also read how we manage screen time and access to screens in our house.
I think we are quite strict as a family but access to phones and screens for us is a parenting choice we feel we do need to focus on and get right to protect our kids.
How do you feel about kids and phones?