School to enforce new phone policy

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Deniliquin High School is taking a proactive stance on the use of electronic devices by students.

Principal Glen Warren said the school will enforce an updated electronic device policy from the start of next term.

He said it is a positive move that will help provide a safer environment for the students.

The new policy — which includes the use of mobile phones, smart watches and tablets — is supported by the school’s P&C and Student Representative Council and endorsed by teachers and parents.

It follows concerns that phones in particular have become a constant distraction for many students in our society, which can lead to classroom and playground disruption for teachers and other students.

‘‘This is a proactive move that we expect will have a positive influence on students’ learning,’’ Mr Warren said.

‘‘We want to get ahead of the game. The new policy hasn’t been introduced because there have been major incidents involving these devices at the school, but only because we felt it had to be updated to avoid the emergence of issues that could occur from inappropriate use.

‘‘The old policy was made a long time ago and phones were not prominent at that time.’’

As part of the policy, students will be permitted to have electronic devices at school, as there may be personal reasons for needing it. However, students are not allowed to use the device during school hours unless it is being used for educational purposes under the direct supervision of teachers.

Mr Warren has called on parents to support the new policy and discuss it with their child.

‘‘This is not a blanket ban, however we’re asking that electronic devices be left at home unless absolutely necessary.

‘‘We’re asking that parents read the new policy and support it for the benefit of the school and students.’’

The new policy will be enforced from the start of Term 3, which is July 24, and is available on the school’s website.

Only yesterday the NSW Government announced it will also be reviewing rules for smartphones in schools.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said the review will be led by leading child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, and was ordered in direct response to parent concerns.