For many years as a parent of a Year 11 student and now 2 x Year 7 students, I have seen the distraction, social damage, sexual desensitization, suicide and depression Smart Phones with cameras and data capabilities have caused school children and teens during their journey to and their time at school. The sole reason most parents provide a mobile phone to school students is for safety and telephonic connection to assist in making contact with our children to plan arrangements. We have seen the dangers of social media bullying and the use of cameras in the school yard. Today in the news it was reported there is now a new trend, the filming of organised violent bashings in the school yard for instagram, Snapchat and social media posts. These organised fights are glorifying violence to impressionable youth. The permanent distraction to school classes and learning as Smartphones with data create distraction during learning periods, robbing students of valuable information as they are distracted almost to the point of addiction. There is also the damage to the social learning of our youth as students sit in school yards heads down in phones, missing out on the development of vital communication skills with students lost in their phones and not speaking to eachother. The importance of this social interaction to not only help with personal relationships but assist with all future relationships as students grow and mature. Smartphones on school grounds, during school time are robbing our youth of a concentrated focus on learning and social development and maturity.
I call on thr major players in our Telecommunication Industry Telstra, Optus, Vodaphone to create, stock and supply a "School-Zone Phone". A phone that can be used for calls and text with the ability to upload music for school travel listening. There will be no camera or data capabilities and it will be styled fashionably to look like the popular and latest phones available today that youth find attractive. A pupose designed phone - not a old basic model with minimal features. Youth are driven by looks and fashion and the design needs to appeal.
I then call on the NSW State Government, The Catholic Education Department and relative departments in all Australian states to create legislation that the only phones permitted on school grounds is the approved 'School- Zone Phone'. This legislation will be part of school safety policy and OH&S. I call on schools to support and follow strict guidelines to support the program confiscating Smartphones found on school grounds and releasing them only by signature on collection by the parents of the student who had the phone.
The Legislate the Introduction of a 'School Zone Phone' petition to NSW Education Department was written by Jacqueline Woods and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.