Cord blood & cord tissue
Time to ban mobile phones in schools
Education and mental health of our children more important than handheld status symbols.
Children under the age of 16 shouldn’t be allowed to bring mobile phones into school.
That’s the blunt opinion of a national health services company which says they should be left at home if we value the education and mental health of our children.
StemProtect.co.uk – which banks stem cells for families to be used in the future – says that the disadvantages of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools by far outweighs the benefits.
“Yes, the mobile phone enables child and parent to get in contact in emergencies,” says StemProtect.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “but the school office phone did that perfectly well for decades, and also prevents disruption of classes.”
While StemProtect.co.uk stamps down hard on the urban myth that the radiation from mobile devices is bad for children’s physical health, it says it cannot be so sure when it comes to the mental health of younger people.
Data theft causes anguish
“We’ve several concerns,” says Hall, “and the first – obviously – is bullying.”
A mobile phone is a hand-held status symbol that also becomes a hostage once it (or its data) falls into the wrong hands.
“There are endless cases of stolen selfies and messages causing mental anguish for children,” says Hall. “Stolen phones and stolen data open the door for bullying and years of worry.”
Because people tend to overshare on social media, the risk to young people in the school environment increases if a status or ill-considered photo falls into the wrong hands.
The results can be devastating in a school – and not just for the victim and their immediate pool of friends. A scandal spreads like a wave until everybody is disrupted, and the whole school finds itself in a state of chaos.
“Kids are under enough pressure in school as it is,” says Hall, “Problems surrounding misuse of mobile devices adds up to a mental health emergency.”
The use of mobile devices in class is also problematic, says StemProtect.co.uk
While it is considered an advantage to have the sum total of human knowledge at your fingertips, it also means that children are exposed to fake news, dangerous and extremist opinions and even inaccurate learning tools.
But it’s the disruption that mobile phones cause – even when banned by school rules – which is the biggest problem that teachers and pupils face.
Teachers report pupils deep in WhatsApp or SMS conversations with people outside the classroom – and even outside the school – when they should be concentrating on learning.
“Just as kids were adept at passing notes under desks, they’re now using technology and finding it much easier,” says Hall.
There are still recorded incidences of children being bullied by text during class, Stem Protect says, and that is entirely unacceptable.
The disruption to the school day through phones usage is greater than ever, and there is only one effective way to stop it.
Time to grab the nettle
Mark Hall: “Schools have agonised for years over allowing mobile phones into school, mainly because they allow parents to be in easy contact with their children.
“But while that ‘Think of the kiddiewinks’ attitude is commendable, it’s also approaching mobile phones from the wrong angle.
“Yes, they are a great communication tool, but they cause endless problems in a closed school environment.”
At a time where teachers find that the huge majority of bullying and child mental health problems are linked to the use of mobile phones in schools, it is time that education authorities grabbed the nettle and banned them entirely.
“Schools police their uniform rules with an iron fist,” says Hall, “It’s time they did the same with phones.”