Piapot school bans the use of cellphones

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Piapot school bans the use of cellphones
The Chief Payepot School in Piapot First Nation has enforced a policy that bans students having their cellphones in the schools. Something parents and students are on board for – Nov 9, 2023

The Chief Payepot School in Piapot First Nation has enforced a policy that bans students having their cellphones in the schools.

This initiative came from the community and parents. The school administration stepped in to assist in implementing the ban.

“It’s been an ongoing issue in our school (and) in our community,” said Nicole Crowe, Chief Payepot School principal. “I know what parents want is education for them on social media, security and safety.”

Meetings with community leaders, parents, community members and school administration took place since September of this year. Parents expressed concerns about the safety of the internet and social media. For the month of October, the Chief Payepot School had a safety month on social media safety.

“Fifty-four (people) showed up, and we did it as a sharing circle, so I opened up with my concerns on what we are doing as a school and what other program managers are doing in the community,” said Crowe. “All the parents got a chance to share their concerns and their ideas and the common theme that came out of that meeting was they (did not) want to see cellphones in the school.”

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Community grandmother (kokum) Patricia Kaiswatum said majority of the band members who attended the community meeting in October agreed to the cellphone ban.

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“I want my grandchildren to go to school in a safe environment. I don’t want them to be bullied or shamed on social media,” she said. “So, I support what they’re doing.”

Educational assistant Crystal Cappo said this policy is good for the students.

“They can’t go on social media to cyberbully so that has stopped since the banning of cellphones,” she said. “They need to learn that cyberbullying is not acceptable, and it needs to be stopped in our school. So, it’s safer for the students and for also like teachers.”

Student Telsa Racette said as a teenager, she likes to have her phone on her at all times but with the cellphone ban, her it’s becoming less distracting.

“There’s less cyberbullying … I know some students don’t like it,” said Racette. “You get like, photos taken of you and then (they are) posted on social media. But now that we can’t have our cellphones, it’s actually so much better.”

Community leadership, school administration, community members and parents will be meeting again this month to discuss the progress.


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