Newsom Calls for Statewide Ban on School Cell Phone Use

Student cell phone use has reached an all-time high, with 97% of teens saying they use mobile devices during the school day. But a reckoning appears to be on the horizon.

On the same day that the state’s largest school district voted to prohibit cell phone and social media use in schools, Gov. Gavin Newsom came out in support of a statewide ban.

The governor cited new warnings from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about the harm social media use is inflicting on young people’s mental health. Murthy is calling on Congress to enact several policies, including attaching warning labels to social media.

“Building on legislation I signed in 2019, I look forward to working with the Legislature to restrict the use of smartphones during the school day,” Newsom said this week. “When children and teens are in school, they should be focused on their studies — not their screens.”

A bill introduced by Assemblymember Josh Hoover would require all school districts to limit or ban smartphones by 2026. Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal and State Sen. Nancy Skinner have introduced bills that address social media’s negative impacts. Lowenthal’s bill would hold large social media companies liable for injuries or damages to children. Skinner’s legislation requires parental consent before social media companies provide “addictive” content to minors.


Comments

Technology

Tuesday, July 2, 2024 - 13:41

A controversial $10 billion school construction bond is headed for the ballot in November following Monday’s Senate Education Committee hearing.