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Ban Cell Phones at School

June 20, 2024
In Recent News

Kudos to the Los Angeles Board of Education which yesterday voted to ban cell phone use by children at school.  Articles reporting on their courageous decision noted that they faced pushback from parents and enforcement is expected to be challenging.  What a sad commentary on our society that parents would push back on something which is indisputably in the best interest of their children.  All the empirical studies and data confirm that children learn better when not distracted by cell phones.  There is no good reason for cell phones in school.  The argument that parents need to reach their children in case of an emergency is specious:  schools have land lines and paging systems.  Children can put away their cell phones upon arrival (in their lockers, a designated, secure cell phone charging area, or somewhere else) and enjoy their day with an unimpeded (at least by cell phones) ability to focus.  The reason they are in school is to learn and grow, after all.  Cell phone access while there in no way aides or furthers this.

The Los Angeles Board did parents a favor: they gave them cover for what most will not do themselves.  Governor DeSantis should take a page from their book and ban cell phone use by children while at school in Florida.  While the author believes in a libertarian approach to government, with minimal intrusion into our personal lives and decisions, an exception to this is where public (and especially children’s) safety is involved.  This is a safety issue, an education issue, and a socialization issue.  Educating our children when not to use cell phones by banning them at school is a good start.  From there we can educate our children on not using them when operating motor vehicles and move on to cell phone etiquette.

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