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Efforts to ban cellphones in classrooms try to reduce distraction

A plethora of issues are being linked to smartphone use — including distraction, depression and lack of educational achievement.
Cell phones in class rooms causing concern
Posted at 10:16 PM, Jun 05, 2024

Efforts to ban cellphones in classrooms aim to reduce distractions for students who find many addictive aspects of the phones hard to take a break from.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she is considering supporting legislation that would ban smartphones in schools amid concerns about keeping children safe online, and reducing distraction from social media.

Gov. Hochul told the Guardian, "I have seen these addictive algorithms pull in young people, literally capture them and make them prisoners in a space where they are cut off from human connection, social interaction and normal classroom activity."

Phone alarm on a table next to a sleeping woman.

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AP via Scripps News
7:49 PM, May 08, 2024

New York State Sen. Andrew Gounardes told Scripps News that lawmakers in New York are pushing for legislation that would focus on how cellphones in the classroom affect students' ability to learn, pay attention and focus.

"We hear from teachers anecdotally about how it impedes on their ability to teach, but also from parents who both want their kids to not be distracted, but also want to be able to get in touch with them," said Sen. Gounardes.

This year lawmakers in New Zealand passed a ban on cellphones in schools which went into effect in late April.

New Zelaland's Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said, "Phones have been banned in schools across the country. It's time we cut the distractions so kids can learn and achieve," Radio New Zealand reported.

Gov. Hochul said she would put up a bill later this year to be taken up by New York's next legislative session at the start of 2025.