Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Virginia governor issues executive order to keep phones out of classrooms

By 37ci3 Jul10,2024

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order Tuesday banning cell phone use in all public schools in the state.

The order directs the state Department of Education to develop guidelines to help public schools adopt local policies that establish “cell phone-free education.”

This includes reaching out to parents, students, teachers and other community members to develop age-appropriate restrictions during school hours as ordered by the executive branch, as well as developing protocols to allow parents to contact their children during emergencies.

According to a report, the state will allocate 500,000 dollars to this initiative.

“This important measure will promote a healthier and more focused educational environment where every child can learn,” said Youngkin, who said his directive was “intended to protect the health and safety of our students by limiting their time.” they are exposed to addictive cell phones and social media and eliminate obvious distractions in the classroom.

Attributing the teen mental health crisis — as well as the decline in academic achievement over the past decade — in part to widespread social media and cell phone use, the executive order says cell-phone-free education means children spend less time on their phones without their parents. control.

New regulations may include special use cell phone bags, lockers or other means of restricting access. Similar restrictions may apply to other digital devices such as smart watches, tablets and personal computers.

The directive tells school divisions to adopt the new policies by Jan. 1, after the state drafts and publishes its final guidance by mid-September.

“Many parents and teachers struggle to balance socializing and social media, play or study time and screen time, real human contact and Internet connectivity,” Secretary of State for Health and Human Resources Janet Kelly said in a news release. “The more we learn, the more we know that too much screen time, especially time spent on addictive apps, is harmful to children’s physical and mental health.”

Kelly added that Youngkin’s order echoes that of U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. last call protecting young people from the potential mental health harms of social media.

Virginia is the latest in a string of states to try to impose restrictions on cell phone use in classrooms in recent years, as parents and teachers say. increased anxiety about distractions and possible harms caused by devices.

Less than a month ago, California Governor Gavin Newsom expressed similarly He points to a number of legislative proposals that will move forward this year, calling for more strict restrictions on smartphones in schools.

Indiana passed the law In March, it requires schools to adopt policies restricting cell phone use during class and Oklahoma, Vermont and Virginia also introduced legislation this year to keep phones out of schools.

Florida last year became the first state completely ban cell phone use during class and block access to social media on school district Wi-Fi.

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By 37ci3

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