Pennsylvania lawmakers consider banning phones in public schools

Kristen Walters

Should students be allowed to use cell phones while they are at school? Unfortunately, some Pennsylvania lawmakers don't think so and are working on passing a law to ban them.

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Pennsylvania State Representative Anthony DeLuca is currently working on a bill that, if passed, would ban the use of smartphones, smartwatches, and other internet-connected devices from being used in all Pennsylvania schools.

According to DeLuca, "a statewide ban prevents patchwork policymaking across Pennsylvania."

One local report indicated that DeLuca was inspired to write the bill after observing the results of a pilot program in one Allegheny County school that prohibited the use of cell phones during the school day.

While no official study has been conducted on the impact of the cellphone ban at Linton Middle School, DeLuca believes such a policy is a "worthy initiative" and would lead to better student engagement.

Advocates for imposing a statewide smartphone ban believe it will help prevent students from becoming distracted due to negative social media messages and other forms of online bullying.

According to a survey conducted last year, 23 percent of Pennsylvania students reported being bullied, and most of the bullying occurred online through social media and messaging apps.

In all likelihood, a smartphone ban would not prohibit students from bringing their phones to school. Instead, students would be required to "lock" their phones in a "Yondr pouch" during school hours.

This would allow students to keep their devices with them and have access in case of an emergency or immediately after school for communicating with parents or friends.

What do you think?

Are you in favor of a statewide "smartphone" ban in schools, or do you think it's too restrictive?

Share your opinion in the comments.

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