Australian-first review launched into mobile phone use in schools and cyber-bullying


The New South Wales government has ordered an Australian-first review on the use of smartphones in schools and their links to cyber-bullying and online safety.

The review comes a day after a Perth mother called for a mobile phone ban to be implemented in schools after her daughter was viciously attacked while being filmed.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes today announced the review will investigate mobile phone use among children and teens while at school, the Daily Telegraph reported.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has ordered a review into mobile phone usage in schools and their links to cyber-bullying and online safety. Picture: AAP.

NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has ordered a review into mobile phone usage in schools and their links to cyber-bullying and online safety. Picture: AAP.

No review of this size and possible impact has ever been conducted by an Australian state or Federal government.

Mr Stokes said that, under the lead of child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg, restrictions on social media and phone use will be considered based on age, online safety and the prevalence of cyber-bullying cases.

Mobile phone use may also be cut down among primary schools across the state.

The review will, for the first time in Australia, consider reductions or bans of smartphones in schools. Picture: 9NEWS.

The review will, for the first time in Australia, consider reductions or bans of smartphones in schools. Picture: 9NEWS.

“While smartphones connect us to the world in ways never imagined just a decade ago, they raise issues that previous generations have not had to deal with,” Mr Stokes told News Corp.

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“Every school I visit has anecdotal examples about the perils or positives surrounding the use of smartphones and other devices in schools.

“In the classroom and in the playground, smartphones provide opportunities for students and parents to stay connected, but can also create other problems.”

No review of this size and potential impact has ever been undertaken by an Australian state or Federal government. Picture: 9NEWS.

No review of this size and potential impact has ever been undertaken by an Australian state or Federal government. Picture: 9NEWS.

It is understood that the review will also take into account the need for students to be contactable by parents during travel to and from school.

It is believed the death of Amy "Dolly" Everett in January this year was a significant factor in the review being announced.

The 14-year-old face of Akubra hats took her own life after months of bullying, with her tragic death garnering worldwide attention.

It is believed the death of 14-year-old Amy 'Dolly' Everett earlier this year was a significant factor in the NSW Government's decision to call the review. Picture: Supplied.

It is believed the death of 14-year-old Amy 'Dolly' Everett earlier this year was a significant factor in the NSW Government's decision to call the review. Picture: Supplied.

Mr Stokes’ move also comes after a Perth mother yesterday revealed that her daughter is too afraid to return to her school after being assaulted this week by a group of girls while being filmed on a smartphone.

“They kept kicking and pushing me until I got to the door and then she pulled me by my hair and kneed me in the face and that’s when I dropped to the floor,” the Year Nine student told 9NEWS.

While the two students who instigated the attack have been suspended and WA Police is investigating the girl’s mother has demanded an expulsion and a school-wide mobile phone ban.

The call comes just a day after a Perth mother called for a complete mobile phone ban in schools after her daughter was viciously attacked. Picture: Supplied.

The call comes just a day after a Perth mother called for a complete mobile phone ban in schools after her daughter was viciously attacked. Picture: Supplied.
The student was filmed being assaulted by a group of girls while at school and is now afraid to return to classes. Picture: Supplied.
The student was filmed being assaulted by a group of girls while at school and is now afraid to return to classes. Picture: Supplied.

“Every week someone’s getting bashed and it’s getting filmed,” she said.

“They’re just passing it around and laughing about it."

The Western Australian Education Department said that reductions in mobile phone use among students while at school is at the discretion of individual principals.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

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