VA Gov. Youngkin Signs Executive Order to Remove Cell Phones from Schools
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VA Gov. Youngkin Signs Executive Order to Remove Cell Phones from Schools

(KARAH RUCKER)

VIRGINIA’S GOVERNOR IS THE LATEST LEGISLATOR TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF CELL PHONE USE IN SCHOOLS.

TUESDAY – GOVERNOR GLENN YOUNGKIN ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER… TO MAKE THEM INELIGIOUS TO ATTEND SCHOOLS STATEWIDE.

THE ORDER INSTRUCTS THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO ASSIST PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN CREATING POLICIES THAT ESTABLISH WHAT IT CALLS “CELLULITE-FREE EDUCATION.”

THE STATE IS ALLOCATING $500 THOUSAND TO WORK WITH PARENTS, STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO DEVELOP AGE-APPROPRIATE RESTRICTIONS IN EDUCATION.

THEY WILL ALSO DEVELOP PROTOCOLS TO HELP PARENTS CONTACT THEIR CHILDREN IN EMERGENCIES.

THE REGULATION REFERS TO THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS AMONG TEENAGERS AND THE WORSE-OUT OF SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT OVER THE LAST DECADE, DUE IN PART TO THE EXCESSIVE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND MOBILE PHONES.

THE ADVERTISEMENT ALSO SAYS THAT THIS WILL ENABLE CHILDREN TO SPEND LESS TIME ON THEIR PHONES WITHOUT PARENTAL SUPERVISION.

IN MAY – U.S. SURGEON GENERAL VIVEK MURTHY ISSUED A WARNING ABOUT THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE MENTAL HEALTH OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

IT IS ALSO PUSHING FOR A REQUIREMENT TO PLACE TOBACCO WARNING LABELS ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AND APPS.

OTHER STATES HAVE TAKEN SIMILAR ACTIONS REGARDING PHONES IN CLASSROOMS.

LAST YEAR – FLORIDA BECAME THE FIRST STATE TO BANNED THE USE OF CELL PHONES OR OTHER WIRELESS DEVICES DURING “INSTRUCTION TIME” BY STUDENTS K–12.

IN MARCH – INDIANA PASSED A LAW BANNING THE USE OF CELL PHONES IN CLASSES FROM THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR.

LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT RECENTLY TAKE ACTION TO BAN CELL PHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA DURING TEACHING. FOLLOWING THAT, THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA SAID HE ALSO SUPPORTS A STATEWIDE BAN. AND IN NEW YORK, GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL (D) IS SET TO INTRODUCE A BAN ON CELL PHONES IN SCHOOLS LATER THIS YEAR.

THE OHIO GOVERNOR ALSO SIGNED A NEW LAW IN MAY THAT DOESN’T GO SO FAR AS TO BAN PHONES IN CLASSROOMS, BUT REQUIRES ALL DISTRICTS TO CREATE POLICIES THAT ARE AIMED AT “MINIMIZING STUDENT USE OF CELL PHONES.” THE ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION ADOPTED A RESOLUTION EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT SOUGHT TO “STRONGLY ENCOURAGE” DISTRICTS TO LIMIT CELL PHONE USE IN SCHOOLS.

SIMILARLY, THE GOVERNOR OF UTAH SENT A LETTER TO HIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION EXPRESSING HIS CONCERNS ABOUT THE USE OF CELL PHONES IN CLASSES AND AFTER CONFIRMING THAT HE SUPPORTS A BAN ON THESE DEVICES IN SCHOOLS.

FEDERAL LAWMAKERS HAVE ALSO PUT UP THE FIGHT, ALTHOUGH A FEDERAL BAN ON CELL PHONE USE IN SCHOOLS IS VERY UNLIKELY. IN NOVEMBER, SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR) AND TIM KAINE (D-VA) FILED A LEGISLATION CALLING FOR A FEDERAL STUDY ON HOW CELL PHONE USE IN SCHOOLS AFFECTS STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS AND MENTAL HEALTH.