(Black Press Media file photo)

Dunsmuir Middle School works with students following in-school protest over cell phone policy

Pupil said he wants students to be included in decisions that impact them

A Dunsmuir Middle School student who initiated a protest amongst his peers following the announcement of a new cell phone policy said he wanted students to be included in decisions that impact them.

An e-mail sent to parents on Feb. 12 cited studies that said cell phones can have a negative impact on academic performance, concentration, social and emotional well-being and self-regulation.

The same e-mail also said a new cell phone and digital policy will be coming into effect in March. The policy would limit personal mobile device use to before and after school, during instructional time for educational purposes as directed by the teacher, for health or medical purposes or as assistive technology.

Devices including laptops, chrome books and headphones would also have to be turned off and stored in student lockers at all times including during recess and lunch.

READ ALSO: Students upset over new cell phone policy at Dunsmuir Middle School

On Thursday, videos posted on Instagram showed Dunsmuir students protesting the new policy, calling it a “phone ban.”

Colleen Spier said her son, Jaiden, initiated the protest out of concern about the new cell phone policy. She said she asked him why he started the protest and he said he felt it was important that students are included in decisions that affect them.

“I started the protest because I felt that phones shouldn’t be banned at school,” Jaiden said. “Although phones may be used for bullying and can be abused during class, I believe we should still be able to use them during breaks, lunch or when instructed by teachers, but at least during breaks though.”

The vice principal of the school instructed Jaiden to start a petition instead as a more effective way to get the point across. The petition garnered more than 350 signatures from students at the school.

“I’m hoping to achieve the use of phones in school as learning tools and during breaks for entertainment,” he said.

Spier said she thinks the incident has taught her son a “valuable lesson in advocating when you feel there is an injustice.”

READ ALSO: No cellphone ban coming to B.C. schools

She said she appreciates the vice principal suggesting a petition which was less disruptive than protests and still empowered students to have a voice without condemning protests, a constitutionally protected right.

“I hope the school reconsiders their new cell phone policy and negotiates a more flexible arrangement with the students who need reassurance their voices matter,” Spier said.

According to the e-mail, staff are reviewing the policy over the next few days “to assist students in adjusting” to it. There will be grade group meetings to review it.

On March 2, the school-wide policy is to come into effect and students will be given warnings and reminders to store their phones in their lockers. The full policy comes into effect on March 30.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

Saanich police ticket two speeders before 9 a.m., Saturday

Officers still actively enforcing road safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Painted fence in Langford shows thanks for essential workers amid COVID-19

Community members finding unique ways to show their appreciation

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read