CASD superintendent asks parents to keep kids off social media

March 15 – Studies have shown that a lot of bullying in schools has root in social media connections. 

As a result, the Superintendent of the Chambersburg Area School District has asked for help from parents. 

Chris Bigger said on Instagram recently, “Hi Chambersburg community, students, staff, friends, family. This is Chris Bigger coming to you from CAMS South. I have a special request for you parents today. If you could, especially in middle school, keep your kids off social media, that would be wonderful. We’re finding some of our root causes to most of the bullying starts on social media and ends up in the school. So any help in this area, please help us keep kids off social media in middle school and they’ll be happier in school. Thanks for your support and we’ll see you again next week.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “We couldn’t be more supportive of that message here. We support Superintendent Bigger’s stand on cell phones. I’m going to play this every single day quite frankly guys, I’m staying with this one.”

Officials in Ohio are working to completely ban cell phones in schools, statewide. 

Ryan said, “As I have a school bus in front of my radio station, there I see the kids right through the window with their face pointed down at the front here. I’m calling on Chris Bigger to set the tone, set the pace of let’s join in with Ohio working to ban cell phones in schools.” 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I really support his message there as well. I mean kids are our most valuable. They are our future. How can we ignore this growing body of research? Every research project that’s been done about this question has determined that cell phones are damaging kids, whether it’s academically, socially, behaviorally, they’re bad. That’s what Governor DeWine and Ohio was pointing out the other day, I mean as citizens whether you have children or not, how can policymakers just keep overlooking that? When is it getting to the point that a school board or a state legislature or a governor as the case in Ohio needs to just step in and say look, we can’t just keep ignoring this data. We need to ban something or at least limit the use of these phones in public schools.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “It’d be a cost free way to actually improve the learning of our students.”

PA Representative Jesse Topper, the minority chairman of the Education Committee in PA, said, “There is a bill, Representative Gleim has a bill that would ban cell phones during school time at school buildings. We understand that these kids have access to all the information they need on the Internet for their classes through their iPads or Chromebooks or whatever is provided by the district. In my opinion, that should be what kids have access to. I think the personal cell phone use at school is problematic. We’re finding it’s just one of the many layers to the mental health issues that our kids are facing. So many of those issues by the way, we have brought them on as an adult generation to our kids. So I think this is definitely a way, like I said Representative Gleim has a bill out there. It’s very good bill. But even if the state doesn’t do it, this is something that can be done at the district level. I applaud the superintendent and other superintendents who actually have taken the step to do that. I know even at Bedford in middle school, you’re not allowed to use your cell phone. It has to be locked in your locker. So schools, even within a district, are taking it upon themselves to address this issue and I applaud that because as we all know, the wheels of state government can move very slowly. Sometimes it’s best just to do it yourself if you can.” 

Ryan concluded, “I am calling on and supporting Chris Bigger, the superintendent of Chambersburg to do just that. You put up a social media post. Let’s put our money where our mouth is. Let’s go ahead and do that. It doesn’t cost a thing. It’s an easy policy to put in place and go ahead and do it if that’s how you feel and you put that up on social media, then let us be the wind beneath your wings.”