Do you support schools limiting cell phone use? We want to hear from YOU!

March 18 – With the recent Instagram post from Chambersburg Area School District Superintendent Chris Bigger asking parents to keep children off social media because of bullying, a number of people are wondering if cell phones should be banned in schools in general.  

NewsTalk 103.7FM has a push poll on our app asking whether you support schools limiting cell phone use? 

We want to hear from YOU. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7M said, “I’m looking for support from the superintendent of cell phone-free classrooms. Don’t tell me that we can’t do it. There are plenty of ways to pull this off. If we can mask everybody up to slow the curve, there’s a way that we can do that.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll suggested, “It’s not too much to ask. Not only is there all this research that supports the benefits of a cell free classroom, but why not try it for a month or two?”

Over the weekend, the Atlantic unveiled an article talking about the terrible costs of a phone-based childhood. 

Barkdoll said, “It synthesizes many of these studies that we’ve been citing over the past few months. They’re citing all of these examples, just week after week, more research being released about the detrimental effects of cell phones. Now the silver lining is it does look like you’re seeing some traction at the state level in some states, we talked about Ohio last week, local school districts around the country. People seem to be waking up to this from a policymaking standpoint, saying hey, this is easy, it’s free. We need to step in and do something. We can’t just keep ignoring all of this research that’s out there.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM added, “I love this article. It’s written by Jonathan Haidt, who I highly respect. He’s not someone from the right by the way. He’s a leftist, but he did write the book, The Coddling of the American Mind, where he sees how counseling is becoming problematic in this country for children. Now he’s writing about ending smartphone based childhood and he’s right. There’s a huge movement in England right now. The Guardian had an article saying how now they’ve mandated no cell phones and I think in school period, no locker room, no cafeteria use, no bus use if you can stop it because the kids actually are starting to re-engage with each other. But people are seeing that children have been adversely affected psychologically, in their ability to interact with other human beings in their very development by this constant input of a smartphone virtual life and access of the whole world to them. There’s a wonderful new book out right now that also highlights, it’s really a weird kind of connection between we’re not getting the right kind of advice for children at all when it comes to their mental health problems and the smartphones are such a huge part of it. Why not take this away? A free way to improve their mental health and academics as it turns out.”

Barkdoll said not only was the Atlantic article talking about academics, “but they’re talking about just human development in general. I mean, he’s pointing out in this article, all of the studies about increased depression, anxiety, suicide rates among teens, and they’re tying it all to cell phone and social media use. How can we ignore this? If you’re on a school board, or you’re a state policy maker in the General Assembly or governor’s mansion, how do you ignore all of these studies that keep coming out and they’re all reaching the same conclusion?”

Ryan assured, “Well, we’re going to lightly bang this drum because it’s important and we want to be the support system that Superintendent Bigger can take. We don’t have to wait for lawmakers, superintendent. We don’t have to wait for anybody to do this. This is a local decision, and it could have a huge impact and set the pace and set the tone. I think the next move is alright, let’s see this make its way to a board meeting or something along those lines or call the superintendent and encourage him. That’s not going to be a bad idea. Send them an email.”
Chris Bigger’s information is here:  https://www.casdonline.org/domain/11