More schools ban mobiles

Penrhos College student Genevieve Blair.
Penrhos College student Genevieve Blair.

For those who have had them in their hands for most of their lives, it is hard to imagine how to socialise without them.

Penrhos College recently banned the use of mobile phones during lunch and recess to encourage students to talk to each other more and Year 11 student Genevieve Blair, from Applecross, can see an improvement already.

‘It has really helped the younger girls who have grown up with technology,’ she said.

‘They are really starting to talk more and engage with each other.’

Murdoch Secondary College principal Diana McGivern said many students travelled long distances to and from school, and mobile phones gave their parents reassurance of their safety.

‘Students know that it would be disrespectful to their teacher and their classmates if they were to use them for personal purposes during lessons,’ she said. ‘During recess and lunch, they use them at their own discretion.’

All Saints’ College principal Belinda Provis said the school emphasised the importance of face-to-face communication and didn’t allow mobile phones at school during the day.

‘We actively and regularly discuss with our students matters of social etiquette, so that our young people are aware of what society regards as respectful behaviour,’ she said.

‘We talk with students about the timelessness and importance of good manners ” using people’s names, having strong eye contact, opening doors for elders and so on.’

Melville Senior High School principal Phillip White is ready to increase the amount of time students use phones at school, but only as a learning tool.

‘In 2014, we are progressing to a BYO Digital Device policy and will encourage students to bring a suitable digital device, such as an iPhone, to school so the many useful applications available on a mobile phone or tablet can be used in the classroom as part of our learning and teaching program,’ he said.

Santa Maria College principal Ian Elder said the school’s policy was for phones to be used for educational purposes only at school, such as taking photographs as part of course work.

‘While they are not to be used for texting or making phone calls during the day, we are not naive enough to believe this does not occur,’ he said.

‘We will not make rules that cannot be enforced and have been pleased with the way the girls have accepted the challenge and trust that we have given them.’

The Melville Times spoke to our local
high schools to find out what their
mobile phone policies were.
All Saints’ College
Must be stored in lockers from the
moment students arrive in the morning
until the end of the day.
Applecross Senior High School
Allowed before and after school, at
recess and at lunchtime, but must be
switched off during lessons.
Leeming Senior High School
Allowed at recess and lunchtimes.
May use phone applications during
class, but are not to use it as a phone.
Melville Senior High School
‘Not seen, not heard’ policy in the
classroom, but allow mobile phones to
be used at recess and lunch.
Murdoch Secondary College
Allowed during recess and lunch, and
at the students’ own discretion.
Santa Maria College
Can be carried, but must be on silent.
Not to be used for texting or