Phone ban in schools only a short-term solution
WHAT will banning mobile phones in our classrooms achieve in the long term?
Yes, I agree the measure has the potential to increase students' concentration levels in classrooms - but that's it.
Cyberbullying is a problem that extends outside the school gates and cannot be solely contained in school grounds.
Last year's Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce concluded the same thing in one of its recommendations.
"The taskforce accepts, however, banning mobile devices at school would not prevent cyberbullying," the final report said.
"A ban could concentrate unwanted behaviour in after-school hours and would do nothing to change the underlying causes of bullying and cyberbullying."
However, the same report concluded that schools need to be proactive in the management of such devices This is what needs to happen.
Teachers, parents and all relevant community stakeholders need to be properly equipped to deal with bullying and cyberbullying.
Mobile phones are only a tool in cyberbullying - not the problem.
Social media networks also need to do more to stop cyberbullying in its tracks - another recommendation of last year's taskforce.
Privacy settings are complex to access and to set-up. This needs to be streamlined.
In addition, I believe companies need to be more proactive in protecting users under age 18. It's way too easy for minors to sign-up for social media accounts.
It's up to the companies and parents to monitor this behaviour.
We've become too reluctant and too dependent on devices to take care of our children. We all need to be proactive in finding a solution to bullying and cyberbullying.
It needs to be a team effort, not the sole responsibility of the schools.
As a community, we need to start taking the bullies themselves to account - not the tools that they use for attacks.
A blanket ban is a Band-aid solution to a bigger problem in our society.