California Bill Proposes to Ban Smartphones in Schools
From CBS13 Sacramento:
The bill’s author, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D- Torrance), said, “Cell phones can be a distraction in the classroom, and there are social and emotional consequences to too much use. According to studies, kids who are heavy users of social media are showing signs of depression and other mental health problems in greater numbers. Studies have also shown that restricting cell phone use improves pupil performance.”
A psychology professor at San Diego State University found in 2017: “8th grade pupils who spend 10 or more hours per week on social media are 56% more likely to describe themselves as unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Moreover, teenagers who spend three hours per day or more on electronic devices are 35% more likely to demonstrate risk factors for suicide, such as suicidal ideation; and, teenagers who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71% more likely to demonstrate a risk factor for suicide.”
The London School of Economics and Political Science found student test scores improved significantly at schools that had smartphone bans, specifically among disadvantaged and underachieving students.
France banned smartphones at all primary and middle schools at the start of the school year.
AB 272 goes before the Assembly Education Committee in April.
There is no “safe” level of cell phone radiation exposure that has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women.
For several years now, many sources have reported about Silicon Valley parents (aka tech inventors) restricting their own kids’ use of screens as well as sending them to private low-tech schools. More recently these parents have been going to extreme measures to shield their children – including making their nannies sign “no-screens” contracts and spying on them.
Considering all the ways we know that smartphones phones (and other screens) are harmful to kids (and everyone else), hopefully more American parents will take action to protect their children – at least while they are in school. It’s not like kids can’t be provided with flip phones for emergency purposes.