(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

Mental Health: Fractured services leave community to fill gaps

Greater Victoria service providers working together to help youth

Bag containing meat, sewing needles found by dog owner in Cordova Bay

Saanich police don’t believe it’s a trend

UVic creates emergency bursary for students facing hardships due to COVID-19

Students can apply by emailing the financial aid office

Colwood Spring Clean-Up postponed, branch drop-off continues

Strict measures in place for branch drop-off

Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank receives more than $5,000 from local organizations

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read