With all the warnings out there, shouldn’t cellphones be banned in ALL schools? 

June 24 – Last week the US Surgeon General asked for warning labels to be put on social media platforms. 

Also, the second biggest school district in the country in Los Angeles is banning cellphones in school buildings for the next school year. 

A district in the western part of PA has done the same thing. 

Chris Bigger, the superintendent of the Chambersburg Area School District, will speak with NewsTalk 103.7FM this Thursday. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “While we’re in June, let’s get our policies in place and the rules in which to do so for no cell phones in the school district. It’s got momentum. I think I even have seen there’s momentum out of some of the unions that are in education to attack this a little bit.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I’m curious to hear Chris’s thoughts on this. I thought that story last week was very significant. I mean, the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, saying that the US government needs to take action on this issue. He wants warning labels even put on social media platforms. Of course, this can only be done by Congressional action. He does not have the authority, as the Surgeon General, to do it. Then Los Angeles, second biggest school district in the country, they’ve now implemented a blanket ban on all cell phones for the next school year, and they’re citing what we often talk about just this ever growing body of research talking about the detrimental effects of cellphones in schools, not only on academics and education, but on mental health. Of course, that’s costing districts money, because they have to address and treat those things as they come up. If a local district is going to do it, the time to act is now. Yes, there would still be time to implement this for the fall. It would obviously be up to school boards to address this, but I’ll be curious if the superintendent wants to weigh in on that.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “I know that some people are saying, well, besides a label, a warning, which I see no harm in, we know this stuff is harmful. Why wouldn’t we have a label? But people say, well, but we don’t want the government stepping in to dictate that. That’s fine with me. I agree. I don’t necessarily want a one size fits all from the government level and legislation, but I think having more of a national conversation, admitting how harmful this has been to kids, even before COVID, and realizing we could get such three pronged benefit of better behavior, better academics, and less mental health issues, oh, not to mention four, less bullying. I feel like this is the time to go for it, and school districts certainly have the right to implement it. I keep hearing that statistic thrown around, oh, but 70% of all K through 12 already have policies. No, those policies are garbage. Those policies are not stopping the use of cellphones in school and all the distraction and all the problems it’s causing and it’s unfair to make this about teachers having to police the classroom constantly with the very provable behavior, kids are addicted. They become angry and belligerent, disrupt the whole class if you try to take this, their drug away from them. Just more proof of how harmful these things are.”

Barkdoll added, “The other interesting tidbit on this, school districts that have implemented these bans, and it’s always controversial on the front end, they’ve received very positive feedback from parents and the students after it’s been implemented, which I think is interesting. Remember too, there are some areas of what I would call middle grounds here. What some schools have done is they ban the phones, but the kids can still have phones on the way into school and when they leave school, but they have to place them in those special lockers that they can’t access them all day. That’s something that school districts might consider. But you look at all these experts that keep looking at this, and a lot of them point out that many years from now, this is going to be like cigarettes. We’re going to look back and say, what were we thinking just giving this unfettered access to all of these children, to phones and social media? So I’ll be curious. We’re getting July. School boards are still meeting, setting policies for the fall. Do they put the green light on this and do a ban for August?”

Ryan insisted, “It’s got to happen, and it’s got to happen now, and I’m glad we’re talking about it now.”