Re-instate opt-out classes for MRSS BYO iPad program

Re-instate opt-out classes for MRSS BYO iPad program

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Alicia Beckenham started this petition to Minister Grace Grace (Queensland Minister for Education)

We are a group of parents that oppose the sudden decision of Marshall Road State School (MRSS) to implement parent-funded personal device based learning for all children in grades 4-6 (BYO iPad). This decision was made without consultation of the school community and removes the pre-existing choice for parents to 'opt-out' of device based learning for their child or children.

We call on Minister Grace, Queensland Minister for Education to intervene and re-instate fully supported "opt-out" classes for students at MRSS whose parents choose for them not to access device based learning for core curricula delivery.

Underpinning our opposition are concerns relating to:

* a lack of evidence that personal device based learning supports learning outcomes; and concerns backed by research that such an approach can be detrimental, particularly for reading and writing outcomes.

* health and wellbeing concerns associated with personal device based learning, including, but not limited to, eye strain, musculoskeletal problems, addiction behaviour-management problems, depression, obesity and anxiety. Children are neurologically underdeveloped to use personal devices/screens for more than 2 hours per day (UN World Health Organisation recommended limit for primary school children is 1-1.5 hours per day).

*access and inclusion divide – creation of ‘those with and without’. Whether it be for cost reasons or parental preference, this decision will create a divide and point of difference among students in the classroom. MRSS has not communicated any reliable plans to manage this point of difference yet intend to implement the program in Term 1 2020. The state school system has an obligation to ensure each child should have equal access and inclusion to safe learning and education.

*impingement on parental right and ability to manage their child's screen time. The school's decision to use personal devices limits our parental ability to manage our child's screen-time within professionally advised limits in efforts to mitigate the above health and well being concerns. We recognise technology as a life tool. 2 hours plus screen time use at school takes management out of our hands and restricts the access we can permit our children within advised limits for life activities such as music learning, family connections (e.g skype) and general entertainment.

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