Los Angeles Schools To Vote on Smartphone Ban For Students

Los Angeles Schools To Vote on Smartphone Ban For Students

This project aims to protect kids from the negative impacts of social media while improving their learning environment.

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 08:07 PM IST
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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will vote on a plan to prohibit smartphones for its 4,29,000 students to address the issue of smartphone-related distractions and their influence on student mental health. This project aims to protect kids from the negative impacts of social media while improving their learning environment.

Detrimental effects of social media on young mind

According to Reuters, this idea follows U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy's previous request for social networking networks to include warning labels similar to those seen on cigarette packaging owing to a perceived mental health emergency. Murthy's call reflects increased worry about the detrimental effects of social media on young people's mental health.

The LAUSD, the second-largest school district in the United States, is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would require the development of a policy within 120 days to prohibit student use of cellphones and social media platforms during school hours. If approved, this policy would be implemented by January 2025. The board will also deliberate on how to manage phone storage, whether in pouches or lockers, and consider exceptions for students with learning or physical disabilities.

Nick Melvoin, a board member and former middle school teacher who proposed the resolution, emphasised the growing problem of cellphone use in schools. "It's a moment whose time has come. When I talk to teachers, administrators, and parents, it's one of the number one concerns," said Melvoin to Reuters.

If the proposal is approved, Los Angeles would join several smaller school districts in banning phone access during school hours. Florida, which has 2.8 million public school students, passed a law last year mandating school districts block student access to social media. Other states are considering similar legislation.

LAUSD also noted that cellphone addiction correlates with rising anxiety levels and cyberbullying incidents.

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