Students support banning phones at school - Auckland's Glendowie College principal

An Auckland high school principal who banned the use of cell phones during the school day says the majority of his students like the policy.

Speaking to The AM Show on Wednesday, Glendowie College principal Richard Dykes said the rule protects students from the constant sense of urgency that comes with using a phone.

"It's not just the world sitting passively waiting for these teenagers to come to them, the world is pushing in on those teenagers trying to get their attention.

"They're more than a phone. They're more than a camera. They're the world in your pocket," he said.

Dykes said he doesn't think phones are bad, but there is a time and place for their use. He believes it's important to focus on learning while at school and to take a break from using them.

As a result of banning cell phone use, he said there's been about a 30 percent increase in students talking to each other and playing sports, and people now play cards during lunch breaks.

Albany Senior High School principal Claire Amos joined Dykes on The AM Show, and said students should be allowed to use their phones at school, so they learn how "to be a grown-up".

"They're going out into a big wide world where, for the most part, they're not going to have someone snatching the cell phone out of their hand," she said.

While some students still occasionally post to social media during class, she said it's also the teacher's responsibility to make learning engaging.

"The teacher is still the teacher in the classroom, and they're still there for learning. I just believe we have a really niche opportunity to work with our young people," she said.

Amos added that phones are learning tools and she wants students to know how to use them in a meaningful way.

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