Here’s a true story about cell phones in schools and why they can be taken out of the classroom 

March 21 – In the recent past, there’s been a lot of discussion – not only locally, but around the world – of taking cell phones out of schools. 

Cell phones have been a major distraction for kids for a long, long time and it’s quite a detriment in our schools. 

Recently, the Chambersburg Area School District Superintendent Chris Bigger appealed to parents to keep their children off social media completely because of bullying that happens there. 

In Pennsylvania, Representative Barb Gleim out of Carlisle has co-sponsored legislation to remove cell phones from all schools in PA.

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM wondered, “If it’s good enough for the kids at Broadfording Christian Academy or Cumberland Valley Christian School, or Shalom, why wouldn’t it be good enough for your kids?”

PA Representative Rob Kauffman said, “I think we all know the damage that social media causes in young people and young minds and young hearts and I think that’s a great initiative that superintendent Bigger is talking about, trying to get parents to be engaged and buy into.” 

Ryan suggested, “It’s a two way street. We’re asking the same back. That’s my tax dollars. You’ve got the kids under your care. You can do this. It’s being proven all over the world that people are taking this initiative.”

Kauffman has a personal experience with his own children. 

He said, “It was one of those things where we didn’t necessarily understand as parents because we weren’t involved in Snapchat. We don’t understand how the draw is on those, where it’s just this constant, pictures and messages and how it draws folks in and young people and it changes their thinking and their mindset and does it maybe get them to start thinking less rationally than they usually would. I think it’s just flat out damaging to young minds to be absorbed with this constant back and forth with pictures and little messages and all of that. So, it’s not good for young minds and we just pulled the plug on it.” 

For a week there was no phone usage in the Kauffman home and then no social media. 

He said, “You get the phone back, but there’s no social media on it.” 

At Shalom Christian Academy, there are no phones in the classroom. Kids can have their phones at lunch time or after school. 

Kauffman said, “Honestly, I have to tell you, it was an adjustment for parents like me because if I wanted to find out what’s going on after school or whatever, I’d text my kid and say, hey, what’s the schedule today? Well, I had to remember that I was not going to get an immediate response. It would be at lunchtime, or at 3:10 after school was done. Everybody had to learn and get used to it. When it first started, it was like, oh, no, the sky is falling. The young people were like, oh, no, what am I going to do? Well, guess what? It was okay.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “We have to realize we’re infantilizing kids with this constant. Plus they’re addicted and it’s distracting. Studies have shown that even the presence of a mobile device is associated with reduced attention and cognitive capacity as students cannot resist the urge to check notifications and messages.”

“It’s like a drug,” Kauffman confirmed. 

Jansen continued, “For free, we can improve academic performance. For free we could help their mental health. For free we could increase their socialization, which is why I’m against it, even at lunchtime.”

Ryan suggested, “Don’t spend a second listening to the keyboard Matlock crowd that will source the school shootings and tragedies. You know what? We managed to get through a lot of living and a lot of life and we can handle this. There are ways in which to do this that don’t sacrifice the future and are taking these minds that have got a lot going on in them that can’t handle this stuff.”