Albion Park High School is the latest Illawarra school to ban the use of mobile phones.
But the move has come under fire from a number of parents, who took to the school's Facebook page to express their displeasure.
Albion Park High recently posted that its new mobile phone and personal electronic devices policy for students would come into effect at the start of Term 1, 2021.
The school is implementing a ban on the use of mobile phones for all students from the time they arrive at school to the end of the school day.
The policy aims to reduce distractions in class and improve student engagement.
One parent stated that students were now expected to have a laptop for school but mobile phones were going to be banned. "I suppose it poses a very interesting question about the role of tech at schools," she said.
"But what most parents are worried about is issues of removing a means of deescalating anxiety during break times. Kids who have anxiety or are being bullied use their phones/music to provide an escape and relax during breaks.
"It has been suggested by some parents that the ban is reasonable in the classroom but not during break times when some kids need the down time."
Another parent argued banning phones would not stop bullying, as claimed by the school.
"I disagree with this policy on many levels, disagree strongly with the idea that students can be directed to use their phone for the deemed convenience of the lesson - no phone means no phone, but indeed it means no phone unless it's needed for the lesson," she wrote.
"We now live in a world that is ruled by technology. Removing the technology does not enable one to learn how to use it better.
"Bullying existed long before the internet, so using the notion of bullying as a reason for device removal is somewhat nonsense."
But some parents welcomed the policy change "to a point".
"I will be arranging an appointment to negotiate this new rule for my child's specific needs but don't see the point of arguing about it on social media."
A NSW Education spokesperson said parents and students were surveyed via Facebook in July, with the majority of parents supporting the change.
"Plans were published in the school newsletter on August 10 and parents were invited to comment, but none did so. Feedback was sought through student leadership teams, at weekly assemblies and in Positive Behaviour for Learning lessons," the spokesperson stated.
"The P&C again discussed the revised policy in October and all parents were contacted advising that the final version would be uploaded to the website on November 17."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.