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UK boarding school confiscating students’ smartphones during bedtime

UK boarding school confiscating students’ smartphones during bedtime

In this day and age, just about every person in the world checks their mobile device before going to sleep at night. In some economies where the average mobile user can afford to enjoy data, surfing the Internet or one’s social media feed is likely a guaranteed activity before rocking off to Neverland.

But Eton College, a boarding school in the United Kingdom, is having none of it. As a matter of fact, the academic institution has implemented a policy that requires every first year student within its walls to turn in their mobile phones every night. As reported by The Guardian, the objective of the new rule is to reduce mobile device usage among its student population, and in turn, allow its kids to sleep better.

The school mandates that at 9:30 PM every night, students should turn in their electronic devices to Eton College’s staff. And in the next morning, kids can retrieve their gadgets at 7:45 AM. There are exceptions to the rule, such as needing their phones to call family members, and other special cases.

Eton College is widely considered as one of the most exclusive boarding schools in all of England. Families who want their children to attend this school will have to pay about $50,000 annually. It is no Hogwarts of course, but the school has produced an impressive list of former students, including royalty like Prince Harry and Prince William, Oscar winning actor eddie Redmayne, and former Prime Minister David Cameron. 

But some may be wondering if it made the right move by introducing its no smartphone before bedtime rule for its students. As pointed out by Simon Henderson, the headmaster of Eton College, kids these days may not know it (or care to admit it), but the wonders of the digital and Internet age still can’t make adolescent years any easier. And too much screen time and social media may not help.

While it is true that Eton College’s rule is implemented for first year boys (who are 13 years old to 14 years old), the school is actually considering the idea of having the policy apply to second year students, too. According to administrators, its students have actually showed a positive reaction to the policy, and the school is claiming that the rule has impacted its boys’ well-being.

As revealed by Henderson, the school had actually expected some resistance from the kids at first. But most of the students have said they are okay with the rule, mainly because they get an opportunity every night to enjoy a respite, especially from the social pressure of having to read and reply to every message all the time.