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Tags: smartphone | california | education | schools
OPINION

A Smartphone Policy With Some Smarts

A Smartphone Policy With Some Smarts
(Pedro Neves/Dreamstime.com)

Michael Reagan By with Michael R. Shannon Tuesday, 26 March 2019 01:32 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Readers may have noticed over the years that the authors of this column don’t hesitate to criticize the California legislature for its many foolish, expensive, and shortsighted decisions. That means it’s only fair that we give credit where credit is due and compliment the legislature on those rare occasions when it may do something that makes sense.

The LA Times reports that Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) has introduced just such a bill. Muratsuchi’s bill “would require school boards to adopt policies that limit or prohibit the use of cellphones on school grounds.” What’s more, in a break from the legislature’s usual heavy-handed, top-down approach, this bill will let each school district formulate its own rules.

Muratsuchi explained, “To the extent that smartphones are becoming too much of a distraction in the classroom, I think every school community needs to have that conversation as to when is too much of a good thing getting in the way of educational and social development.”

Leaving policy up to the educrats gives us some pause, but something will beat the current nothing. Which is why we hope the bill passes and it’s signed by the governor. The Times found last year that 73 percent of California students — already plagued with short attention spans — are bringing their own $600 distraction with them in their pocket.

That’s why the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School Board “adopted a policy requiring children in grades K-5 to have cellphones turned off and stored out of sight during school hours, while older students face similar restrictions but can obtain teacher approval to use a smartphone for academic purposes.”

California won’t be alone. The French government banned all cellphones in elementary and middle schools in 2018. And additional justification is provided by a London School of Economics study “that found test scores improved significantly at schools that banned mobile phone use, and that the most significant gains were made by the most disadvantaged pupils.”

It’s pretty obvious that something must be done since parents evidently find the prospect of personally limiting junior’s screen time too terrifying to contemplate. Linda Reid, president of the Palos Verdes school board told the Times, “parents begged us for a policy.”

Turning to the government to discipline your child is a sad commentary on modern child-rearing practices. Letting the government or the school district shoulder the responsibility for a child’s cellphone use is not the type of delegation that makes for strong families or encourages respect for parents.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan


Reagan
Readers may have noticed over the years that the authors of this column don’t hesitate to criticize the California legislature for its many foolish, expensive, and shortsighted decisions.
smartphone, california, education, schools
505
2019-32-26
Tuesday, 26 March 2019 01:32 PM
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