Labor floats 'prison-like' phone jamming tech for NSW schools

Coalition slams Labor's proposal to use phone jamming technology, while some independent schools support it.

Labor floats 'prison-like' phone jamming tech for NSW schools
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NSW school students could have their phones jammed to stop them being used during class time.

The Coalition have blasted Labor for the idea which would rely on the same technology used to jam phones in prisons.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said children are pupils not prisoners.

“We’re talking about students. They are pupils, they are not prisoners,” she said.

“And the fact that what Labor wants to do is bring technology from Supermax into your child’s school, I think it’s incredibly concerning.”

She was not asked whether paper should also be banned in schools because it was used in prisons.

The Daily Telegraph reported that mobile phone jammers like those used in prisons could be used in schools under a Minns Labor Government.

But despite the Coalition’s concerns, the plan reportedly has strong support from several independent schools.

Phone jamming technology is successfully used at Lithgow and Goulburn jails and could be the answer for public schools struggling to stop students using personal devices in the classroom.

The technology would stop phones from ringing, deny access to social media and prevent students from viewing unauthorised content on laptops tethered to their phones.

There would be provision for some phones, like those belonging to students with medical conditions, to remain connected.

Shadow Education Minister Prue Car said Labor was committed to banning the use of mobile phones in schools and willing to consider whatever technology might assist in that objective.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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