When the ban on phones in schools was announced on Wednesday morning, parents seemed overjoyed. By the evening, a dose of reality came from teenagers at the sharp end. Not so fast, was the opinion from where the ban will actually operate. "The older we get, the less we listen," Sebastian Adams said, with a wisdom belying his 17 years. He believed a ban would work in primary and lower schools but it would be less effective in upper high schools and colleges. "The students who do misbehave with phones will circumvent it," the Dickson College student said outside Dickson swimming pool. And he added that phones were necessary in schools. They helped people keep in touch for necessary tasks like finding out where they were meant to be next. "It would be hard without a phone," he said. On a wide campus like Dickson College, recently-introduced shorter times between lessons meant that students had to shift to get to the next one. A phone smoothed the running of the college. Sixteen-year-old Penelope Blyth was worried that a ban would disadvantage some children and teenagers who need phones and smart watches for medical reasons, like monitoring their diabetes. She said that exemptions would be necessary but they could take time to get. She said that some students already sought exemptions under the current mish-mash of rules across Canberra but it was sometimes difficult. "I think it could be quite problematic for some students who need personal devices for disability or medical reasons," she said. "Even though there are exemptions in place, it can be difficult for students to get those exemptions. Some schools require doctors' notes." She was also worried about students who travel long distances and who need their phones to organise being picked up at the end of their journeys or to negotiate trips with several connecting bus rides. Some schools do already have pretty tight rules on phones in schools. There is no single rule across schools and colleges in the ACT but the general idea is that phones can be used during breaks but must be in bags and on silent in lessons. "But it gets ignored," Toby McFadzen said. He wasn't against the new rule. Whether an outright ban works will depend on how it is implemented was his view. "I don't think they will implement it in a way that works," he said. "They need to be strict and if they are not students will just ignore it." Did 17-year-old Elliott Foster think the ban would work? "Probably not," was his verdict. He thought it was human nature to defy a prohibition. He did use a phone at Dickson College - but not defiantly. "I don't use it during lessons. I use it to unwind between lessons. I check my socials." It was all a marked contrast from the morning's broad welcome of the ban by parents. Watson resident and parent Lucy Hutchens said limiting social media and other disturbances in school was a good thing. "I think if I had been in school and had social media as a distraction on top of everything else, it would probably make life much harder," she said. "I feel like it can only be a good thing." Grandparent Harika Manikis said children on mobile phones weren't paying attention to school work. "We all grew up without phones and look at us, I think we've all turned out quite decent," she said. The ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations executive officer Veronica Elliott said the council was pleased with the policy. "There's a number of things that we hear about mobile phones in classroom, one is simply that students are not on task and not learning and obviously school is there for the learning," she said.