LAUSD votes to ban cell phone use during school day

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s school board voted Tuesday to ban cellphone use during the school day.

The new rule will take effect in January 2025, although the Los Angeles Times notes that the details still need to be “approved at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.”

By banning cell phone use all day — including during lunch and breaks — board members expressed hope that students would learn better interpersonal communication skills and be less prone to media-related distress social and cyberbullying.

“Our students are glued to their cell phones, much like adults,” board member Nick Melvoin, who lobbied for the rule, told the Times. “They parade surreptitiously through school, during class hours, or with their heads in their hands, walking in the corridors. They don’t talk to each other or play during lunch or recess because they have their AirPods inside.

How the devices will be restricted – perhaps through the use of lockers or cellphone pouches – remains to be determined, as do possible exclusions for students who use the devices to do homework or translate English as non-native speakers.

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