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England joins growing group of countries banning phones in schools

Earlier this month, England’s Education Minister announced a plan to prevent children from using phones during the entire school day.

“We know that mobile phones are a source of distraction and bullying in the classroom,” Gillian Keegan shared in a government tweet. “Yet, 40% of 14-year-olds report that their lessons were disrupted by phones. So today, we’re banning phones in schools.”

That sounds stronger than it is, as schools will simply be given “guidance” to ban phones, and it remains up to the schools to enforce it. But the ban includes barring phone use during breaks and between classes.

According to coverage by TheMessenger.com, China and France have similar policies, and the Netherlands will be following too. In Canada, only Ontario has restrictions on cellphones in school, banning them during instructional time. The province reported that 97% of the parents, students, and educators they consulted said there should be restrictions.

Phones aren’t only a distraction, they also are rewiring young and old minds alike, making it difficult to concentrate or listen.

One public school in BC has banned phones from the classroom and saw some very positive results after just five months. Chatelech Secondary School counsellor Tulani Pierce reported:

“We are seeing improved mental health, we’re seeing decreased bullying, we’re seeing more engagement in class, we’re seeing more social interaction, kids are playing again instead of being on their phones and we’re seeing increased academic success.”

Most children won’t have the ability to regulate their own media usage. They need responsible adults to set boundaries. Like a fence around a swimming pool, these restrictions are not an imposition but an act of love and care (Eph. 6:1-3).

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"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

In this presentation, Reformed Perspective’s Mark Penninga will unpack data, history, and God’s Word to make the case for embracing the gift of children with open arms.

WHO IS THIS FOR?

Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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Internet

The smartphone stack

You're out with some friends having a nice dinner. But one has been talking on his phone for the last ten minutes, and a second is managing to fork food into her mouth while still using both hands to type text messages. And the fourth member of your party is preoccupied with tracking down some YouTube video he just has to show everyone. So you're out with your friends for dinner but it seems an awful lot like eating alone. We've all experienced something similar... and put our friends through something similar. So how can we return a little decorum to our dinners-out? One suggestion making the rounds is something called "The Phone Stack." After everyone orders their meals all smartphones are placed in the center of the table, one on top of another, face down. Though the course of the meal it's simply a given that one of these, or all, are going to buzz, bing, or sing, but here's the kicker: no one is allowed to grab their phone until dinner and dessert is done. If someone feels they just have to pick up their phone, that's okay, but then they also have to pick up the check for the night! Can there be exceptions made? Maybe someone is a doctor on call, or a volunteer member of the local fire department, and just needs to check their messages. Yup, allowances for that kind of thing can be made. But for the rest of the group this is a fun way of ensuring we all connect with one another, rather than with our devices. And for those dining-in nights, a variation can be done involving who is going to do the dishes!...