Dear Administration and board of directors in SCIE,
I am Tom Chen from A1, a prefect in the student council. On behalf of the student council division in the new prefect body, witnessing the press the stance of the student council, and the will of majority of the students. We, as students, understand the purpose of this article to be noble and its intention to be righteous - saving students from distractions is a goal worthy of praise, but unfortunately, the decision itself failed to live up to its own goals, for the following reasons.
1) Lack of Popular Consent
Given the larger context of moving into the new camupus, we recognize necessary changes of regulations should be made to accommodate needs of an expanded students body. However, the phone prohibition is not among these necessary changes, and will never be a necessary change. No student agency ever gave or was asked consent to this policy, not the students, not the prefect body, not the student council. We are all in agreement of the fundamental principle that actions affecting others require consent, regardless of our station or our role. We contend the decision is an abuse of power and regrettably inconsiderate. No one would ever agree to this encroachment upon our private property, and nor was anyone asked. If the school aims to provide an environment that helps students to control themselves, it is better for the school to issue a contract, and let those who are willing show it. Given so many ways to cheat the system, how could enforcement have any outcome but the opposite? Self-control cannot be fostered at the point of a bayonet, but only cultivated independently.
2) Potential Legal Barriers
To quote the Articles in Property Law of the People’s Republic of China, in accordance to article 35: ‘ Where a real right has been or may be obstructed, the right holder may petition for removing impediments or eliminating the danger". In Chapter 2, Article 4, The term ‘real right’ refers to the exclusive right of direct control enjoyed by the holder according to law over a specific property, including ownership, usufructuary right, and real rights. Even if the students had not objected to this policy, neither Teacher’s Law nor Compulsory Education Law had given schools or teachers authority to detain students phones, as phone is categorized property by definition. During lessons, teachers may ask students to put away their phones out of respect and in the cause of classroom engagement; however, the reason why students accept these regulations is because the use of phone is in its essence contradictory to the teaching purpose under these circumstances. This is clearly not so in this case, and indeed, provide benefits like internet access and effective communication, furthering rather than defeating this purpose. No law supports the school’s decision.
3) Phone Use is Not the Real Distraction
We can respond with nothing but confusion to the idea that mobile phones are inherently As to the theory of mobile phone’s toxication to students, we could only respond to it with confusion. Long before the popularization of phones, students are misled to hazardous paths other than study in their adolescence. Therefore, we can firmly say that phones are not the object to be blamed.Quite the contrary, it should be students whom misuse or incapable to manage time to use the most useful tools of communication and research in the age of information. Thus, this should be an individual problem rather than a collective problem. So as their way to learn, while those who lacked the ability use phones to play. The school had never proven the percentage of students whom misuses the phone and whom don’t, and even under no restriction in the past, SCIE students had a great performance in CIE exams and college application(which I believe to be shown by statone but the people, and the contract that I mentioned before aims better at the problem and avoids the negative outcome of school policy. That being said, Phone is not the direct cause of distraction. With respect, we kindly urge the school to address the issue in a feasible way that can punished the misbehaved students while in the meantime protects rights of the “ innocent “ population.
4)Mobile phone as an important tool for communication and research
Mobile Phone usage had always been considered as a double-edge sword. However, it’s undeniable that the benefits it could bring is tremendous. At least for A level , it’s crystal clear that working till midnight is a convention and phone usage in studying is cruciditions in dormitory has already been piteous, without hotpot connection, it will be literally impossible if one is to study till midnight. Network benefits aside, phones can also serve as an research tool. Moreover, as we are approaching 9999 in the age of information, mobile phone has become a critical component of our all aspects of life. To deprive student of phones could be detrimental when it comes to emergencies. Even though other means could achieve the purpose of emergency contacts, through dorm supervisor for example. However, in some cases that are via emails, it will be delays.
5)Procedural miscue and inconsideration
Aside from aforementioned points which I made, I shall as well advise you to respect student agencies. The procedural miscue in which I mention in the subtopic was that, the school had not had any previous consultations with the student agencies which supposed to be part of discussion. Sadly, the school had never done that during the process. Students, on the other hand, had not a single word of say in the situation.
To clarify, this email is not written to provoke any conflicts between the school, the student council division of prefects body and the students. We whole-heartedly wish you have the patience to listen to students’ genuine opinions on this unexpected regulation.
In light of all the contentions made by the student council, as well as the majority of the students hold, we urge the school to withdraw the clause in the booklet and bring the topic to a fairer, completely transparent table for a discepresentatives in order to re-negotiate and a consensus that’s more balanced and agreeable to all sides.
Tom Chen, SELT, Student Council
Co-writer: Thatcher Wang