A school in Middlesborough has put up signs on their school gates asking parents to ‘greet your child with a smile, not a mobile’ in a bid to get mums and dads off their phones.
St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Middlesborough is trying to ban parents from being on their mobiles when picking their children up from school by displaying the signs at the school gates.
The yellow and red circular signs resemble classic road warnings, giving them an authoritative look and show a figure stood with a phone to their ear, which has been crossed out with a red line.
ITV Tyne Tees reports that although staff at the school were unable to give interviews, St Joseph’s released a statement explaining that the signs were part of a strategy to help their students further their communication skills.
A spokesperson from the school said, ‘These signs were put up as part of a strategy to encourage children to continue on their speaking and listening skills with their parents, at the start and end of the school day.’
The signs have sparked debate online, with many parents reacting to the story with differing opinions.
One mum said that she agrees with the signs ‘100%’, ‘My child attends this school and I totally agree with the signs 100%. They have been away from you for 6hrs I personally want to know what sort of day they have had. The head teacher is not banning mobile phones it’s a reminder to talk to your child and find out what sort of day they have had.’
A second social media user agreed, raising the issue of ‘safe guarding’ in the playground, ‘I’ve seen children rush out of class to share their news to be brushed off by their parent/carer who continues with their ” so I said …then she said …then he said” conversation. Also there is a safeguarding issue with so many camera phones around can you really be sure of everyone’s intentions …not aware of any school round here that applauds use of mobiles on school grounds.’
Another argued that some parents need their phones for work purposes, saying, ‘What about the parents who rely on their phone for work. Yes some don’t and are probably just on FB or twitter etc but just because they’re on it, it don’t mean that they’re on the phone all the time and it also doesn’t mean they don’t ask their kids about what’s been happening at school.
‘And most will have probably put the phone away before they get out the school gates.’
Do you agree with these signs? Would you put your mobile away if they appeared at your child’s school? Tell us in the comment box below!