State law to ban cell phones in the classroom

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State law to ban cell phones in the classroom

Students are expected to be more engaged when the new law goes into effect.

Students are expected to be more engaged when the new law goes into effect.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Students are expected to be more engaged when the new law goes into effect.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Students are expected to be more engaged when the new law goes into effect.

Leila Harper, Beyond the Gates Editor

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It is common knowledge that administration doesn’t like cell phones being used as a distraction in class, and studies show that teens have an unhealthy attachment to technology and California has developed a response to this.

Assembly Bill 272 was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, on July 2, 2019, four months after its proposal by Al Muratsuchi earlier this year. The law details that school districts in California are encouraged to “adopt policies to limit or prohibit smartphones” (gvwire, 2019). Although this doesn’t guarantee that smartphones will be completely eradicated from schools by policy, or that students that will give them up, this does mean that they will have a harder time getting off scot-free when caught using the devices.

In addition, there are a few very specific situations that qualify as exceptions from this proposed ban. In an emergency, for instance, an authority has authorized use of a cell phone. A student’s physician may also determine that a smartphone is beneficial for that individual’s health and/or wellbeing, and/or the use of a phone is incorporated into the students’ education plan. All-in-all, the “ban” is a stricter version of how most decent public schools operate on the topic of phones.

The reasoning behind why politicians are now putting this law in place is because of research correlating the rising cell phone use and escalating mental health problems in teenagers. According to Assembly member Muratsuchi’s findings, “Evidence has shown that unrestricted use of smartphones by students at schools lowers academic performance, particularly among low-achieving students; promotes Cyberbullying; and contributes to teenage mental health issues. Between 2009 and 2017, the number of 14 to 17 year olds experiencing clinical level depression jumped more than 60%, with a 47% increase among 12 to 13 year olds” (LWV, 2019).

In defense of California’s government officials, they want the best for the next generations and are giving schools the option of how strict to be in regards to students and their tech. AB 272 will be enacted by January 1, 2020.

Sources:

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