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Mobile phones in secondary school

(84 Posts)
PeppermintPasty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:02:55

My ds is still only seven, so this issue is a while off for me personally, but I've been meaning to post for ages. I have pondered this out loud with friends who have older children and they just shrug or say something feeble like 'all their friends have them'. I am preparing myself to be the only parent who will not allow her children to have phones in school. Is that BU?

I am genuinely puzzled/amazed even, that schools seem to allow all secondary school children to have mobiles in school. I mean at all.

At the risk of sounding like an old duffer, what's wrong with going to the office and using the school phone if you need to?

I think I am being really thick, and missing some major crucial point about phones in school. What is that major crucial point?

I love technology, so it's not that I'm phobic or something. I just don't get it. Why don't schools ban them? Or if it relates to kids needing to contact parents etc for pick ups, why can't they have them when school finishes?

I am prepared to be told I have missed the point, and then some.

NotMrsTumble Thu 20-Nov-14 15:08:23

Generally by that age they have after school clubs or want to go round to someone's house to work on joint homework projects. School almost certainly allows phones to prevent queues of kids calling their parents. DD is 12 and doesn't always take her phone to school, but does when she's not going to be coming straight home from school.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 20-Nov-14 15:09:51

DS2's school doesn't allow phones to be used during school hours, but acknowledges the likelihood that pupils will bring them anyway by saying that they are responsible for their own mobiles. Younger pupils are expected to use the school office phone as you suggest. DS doesn't own a mobile, so I don't know how effective this policy is in reality.

TywysogesGymraeg Thu 20-Nov-14 15:11:44

It's because many parents would complain if the kids were NOT allowed to have their phones in school. More than would be on your side I dare say (although I agree with you).

We don't allow kids to just "disappear" for hours these days - if parents dont' know where they are every minute of the day, then they fear child abduction within 10 mins.

PeppermintPasty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:12:18

Ok, thanks. I find myself stereotyping children of a certain age by thinking they will not be parted from their phones! I didn't think they might leave them at home by choice!

PeppermintPasty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:14:03

Thanks. So I'm very wrong in thinking that all secondary kids have phones? What percentage have them I wonder? Seems to be everyone at our local school.

titchy Thu 20-Nov-14 15:15:34

Your child is 7 - they will be a totally different child when they are 12 and at secondary school! Why on earth are you preparing yourself for something that you might or might not do in four years time?!

When he was 3 did you say to yourself 'will I be the only parent who doesn't allow my 7 year old to read anything except Beatrix Potter' (or whatever...)?

TywysogesGymraeg Thu 20-Nov-14 15:17:17

In 5 years time I expect they'll be implanted anyway, so we won't need to make the decision smile

WorraLiberty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:18:56

In my DC's secondary school, they are allowed their phones (due to any potential travel problems), but they must have the battery removed and stored separately to the phone.

This is because use of mobile phones in banned during school hours.

Once upon a time if your child had a problem getting home from school, they could simply use a telephone box.

Now they are so scarce, I can't remember the last time I saw one - let alone one that worked.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 20-Nov-14 15:21:25

I had to pretty much force a mobile onto DS1 when he was 16. Even now in his early 20s, he has some kind of steam-powered handset and isn't much bothered whether he has it with him or not. I don't think I'll try to anticipate what DS2's requirements might be in this department as he gets older, but he won't be allowed to take any expensive kit into school, I can tell you that much.

vdbfamily Thu 20-Nov-14 15:22:05

Our DD gets a bus to/from school and we then have a complicated rota of collecting from the bus stop so we decided she needed a phone. She is not allowed it switched on in school at all but has used it a couple of times to phone us. There is dreadful peer pressure to have the latest technology.Many of her friends have iphones and she is constantly pressurising us for a better model. She mentioned it daily for the first 6 weeks of secondary school but has quietened down a bit now!

PeppermintPasty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:23:20

Haha titchy well, I was slightly taking the piss. Out of myself really. Of course I'm not that organised....or weird, honestly...

No, it originally came about because a friend of mine was having some problems with her dd and bullying etc, on the phone, which of course is just old fashioned bullying by a modern method. Couple that with my ignorance as mother to primary school children and I just wondered, you know, is it as bad as it looks. But apparently not, your school sounds quite sensible worra.

paddyclampo Thu 20-Nov-14 15:24:01

I don't see what all the fuss is about. They're not allowed to have them out in lessons, and most schools insist they're switched off during lesson time and have sanctions in place.

I think they're v handy from a safety angle and also for socialising. I wouldn't have my kid being the only one not having a phone just because I was stubborn.

PeppermintPasty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:24:57

Are they allowed them in break times?

AuntieStella Thu 20-Nov-14 15:26:40

All phones have to be switched off and out of sight in school.

If they go off, then it is confiscated, and the pupil has to pick it up from the office at the end of the day. Three confiscations = detention.

Mind travel by bus. Occasionally they let me know if there's some sort of delay.

PeppermintPasty Thu 20-Nov-14 15:26:40

And yy to them being implanted smile

skylark2 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:26:59

My kids have them so that if something goes pearshaped on the trip home from school (DS has missed his bus stop and called from the next one up before now - no public phone there, no shops, not even a house) they can get in contact.

They don't use them in school.

SparkyLark Thu 20-Nov-14 15:28:09

Really, its just for socialising! All this safety stuff is hot air!
If kids aren't allowed it, they will just have to wait till they get home.

My son's secondary school ban them, but quite a few of them still manage to smuggle them into the playground and do "instagramm" photos.

Its laughable of course.

But its also a serious distraction. Children need to learn to be independent and free, and that includes of technology.

I applaud schools that ban them :-)

MilkThistle187 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:33:14

I have 2 teenagers and all of their friends have phones. They all get themselves to and from school, so I regard it as a necessity particularly on dark winter evenings. They can use them at break, but if their phone rings during class the phone is taken off them for the day and they collect it from the office at home time.

I can't see any issue with it. Heaven knows what kind of technology will be available hey the time your ds goes to secondary OP!

ChillySundays Thu 20-Nov-14 15:38:59

A mobile was very handy when DC1 was catching the constantly breaking down school bus to let me know. Decision could then be made as to whether I waited or went home. Weren't allowed in lessons or during breaks.

NetballHoop Thu 20-Nov-14 15:39:17

My teenagers are allowed to use their phones in class when "research" is needed. I think it's cheaper for the school to allow them limited use of their phones than to provide the equipment.

bigbluestars Thu 20-Nov-14 15:39:47

I have teenagers - the take phones to school. Phones are very useful- they sometimes miss the bus or forget about an after school meeting.

Sheitgeist Thu 20-Nov-14 15:42:06

But why do you think they should be banned in school, peppermint I don't think you said ?
At my DDs comp, they were to be switched off during school time. For a while they were disallowed, but I think they realised that a ban was a waste of time!
We'd have been stuck if DD didn't have one, with her after school clubs, visits to friends, trips to town etc. We live in the country and there are no buses from there to here.
Really I guess it was me that wanted her to have one so she'd be safe.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 20-Nov-14 15:42:23

My DC are at a rural secondary school ten miles away. If they are at after school actvities by the time I pick up the school office is shut and there is now way of contacting them. Therefore if I've been held up for any reason I need to be able to tell them. Occasionally a club has been cancelled at the last minute and DC text me to tell me, otherwise I would leave to get them before they would be home. There wouldn't be time to queue at Student Services to phone before the bus left. And if they just waited for me anyway, in the winter it would be outside in the dark if no club.

Some of those are actually issues I think school needs to address.

AuntieStella Thu 20-Nov-14 15:45:11

"And yy to them being implanted"

Where would you insert the batteries? grin

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