Newsom Calls for Banning Smartphones in Schools

California governor is looking for the move to be made over the summer
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2024 1:35 AM CDT
Newsom Wants to Ban Smartphones in Schools
FILE - California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a rally June 7, 2024, in San Francisco. Newsom announced Tuesday, June 18, 2024, that he wants to restrict students' usage of smartphones during the school day, citing the mental health risks of social media.   (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

If Gavin Newsom has his way, smartphones will soon be banned from public schools in his state. The California governor on Tuesday called for such a ban to be instituted by the end of the current legislative session in August, Politico reports. "As the Surgeon General affirmed, social media is harming the mental health of our youth," Newsom said in a statement, per KTLA. He says he plans to work with state lawmakers to "restrict the use of smartphones during the school day. When children and teens are in school, they should be focused on their studies—not their screens." Newsom cited his 2019 law allowing school districts to ban cellphones. His wife has previously spoken out about the cyberbullying suffered by one of their four school-age children.

Restricting the use of mobile devices during school has proven to be a bipartisan issue—Florida and Indiana have such restrictions, and New York may reinstate statewide restrictions after dropping them in 2015 in favor of letting individual campuses choose their own policies. In California, the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District (the second-largest school district in the entire country) also voted Tuesday to institute a smartphone ban, which will be implemented in January, the New York Times reports. (More Gavin Newsom stories.)

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