THERE is no doubt if you see something happening in America you may soon see it replicated in Australia.
We love adopting American trends and it’s possible it goes back to our love of watching their many TV sit-coms.
While we are presently debating whether mobile phones should be banned in schools America is already cracking down on them hard.
American educators discovered that when students returned to school following the pandemic, they quickly saw a change in cell phone habits.
More than ever the students were glued to the devices during class — posting on social media, searching YouTube, texting friends.
So, this year, schools throughout the US banned the devices in class to curb student obsession, learning disruption, disciplinary incidents and mental health worries.
Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli was quoted in major press saying: ‘This has got to stop, we’ve got academic issues that are not going to be fixed if our students continue to sit on their phones.”
Many have come to see social media — accessed via students’ phones — as a major contributor to poor mental health.
But many students — who use their phones for listening to music, arranging rides home, checking on grades or assignments — are unhappy with the crackdowns.
American parents have been split on the issue, with many critics insisting their children need phones in case of an emergency.
“We’re not trying to infringe on anybody’s freedom, but we need to have full attention in the classroom,” said Nancy J. Hines, superintendent in the Penn Hills School District, in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.
Now many schools provide pouches in which a student must deposit their mobile phone when they enter the school.
It then can’t be used until they access an unlocking device as they leave school.
It’s understood that some schools in Australia have introduced the same method, although as ever students have found ways around it by putting a dummy phone in the pouch and having their real phone hidden away.
You may not agree, but as far as I go it’s ban the mobile phone at school and just maybe our children will start talking to each other again and learning about the joys of conversation.