Schools clash with parents over bans on student cellphones

News Summary

  • Some fear losing touch with their kids during a school shooting.Shannon Moser, who has students in eighth and ninth grades in Rochester, New York, said she felt parents were being pushed away when the Greece Central School District this year began locking away student phones.
  • Amid heightened scrutiny of topics such as race and inclusion, some parents also view cellphone restrictions as a way of keeping them out of their kids’ education.Over a decade ago, around 90% of public schools prohibited cellphone use, but that shrank to 65% in the 2015-2016 school year.
  • But she said parent views on the debate run the gamut.“You still have the parents that want to have that direct line of communication and have concerns over their child not being able to have that communication,” she said.
  • And many school officials may feel empowered to ban the devices, given growing concern among parents about pandemic-era screen time, said Liz Keren-Kolb, clinical associate professor of education technologies at the University of Michigan.
  • “There was a lot of pushback and a lot of concern in the beginning of what this would look like, how this would unfold, how is it going to affect us getting in touch?”Kids and their parents have largely adapted to the new policy, she said.
  • “It’s a reset to say, ‘How do we manage this in a way that makes sense for everybody?’”At the Richardson Independent School District, near Dallas, student cellphone use had been prohibited during instructional time before officials proposed buying magnetic pouches to seal them away during the school day.
By BROOKE SCHULTZ Associated Press/Report for AmericaCellphones the ultimate distraction keep children from learning, educators say. But in attempts to keep the phones at bay, the most vocal push [+6047 chars]