Cell Phone Ban Working in Chesapeake

by James A. Bacon

Chesapeake public schools banned cell phones and tablets in school for most of the school day and now report to The Virginian-Pilot that students are less disruptive and paying more attention in class.

The rule enacted this year requires devices to be stored in a bag, locker or vehicle during school hours. High school students were allowed to use them during lunch, writes the Pilot, but officials said they will likely remove that exception next year.

“Teachers are ecstatic about it,” says Jeff Johnson, principal of Great Bridge High School. They’re spending less time asking students to put devices away and making fewer referrals for discipline issues, he explains.

The article offered no metrics to demonstrate an improved climate for learning — although we may get some in August when the state releases its Standards of Learning results — but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt makes a powerful argument in his latest book, The Anxious Generation, that cell phones and social media are not only disruptive to learning but have contributed greatly to the increase in anxiety and depression in Gen Z. He advocates banning cell phones from school, and an increasing number of school districts are listening.

Banning cell phones from schools is low-hanging fruit for reversing the decline in educational performance. Every lawmaker in Virginia should read Haidt’s book. The General Assembly should mandate statewide standards to get cell phones out of schools.

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5 responses to “Cell Phone Ban Working in Chesapeake”

  1. walter smith Avatar
    walter smith

    Wow…a concept so crazy…it might work!
    This goes both ways – parents and kids – no helicoptering from the parents and focus on school from the kids – now, if we can get the teachers back to the 3Rs, not SEL/CRT/DEI… If the kids are getting better at "learning" SEL, then this could be bad!

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    It's an interesting thing. It's not only a problem in schools but on highways and at work, with adults… who can't seem to control themselves either. Can't count how many times an erratic car turns out to be some guy/gal – including gals with kids onboard. Ironic if you think about it with respect to the govt rules to secure the child properly – yes you have to actually tell people this. So secure the child then drive like an id*ot.

    " Child traffic fatalities increased by 8 percent from 2020 (1,101) to 2021 (1,184). An estimated 162,298 children were injured in traffic crashes in 2021, a 17-percent increase from 139,058 in 2020."

    Are these the same folks who argue vociferously against cell phone restrictions in schools?

  3. Teddy007 Avatar

    And how would they measure if students are really paying more attention in class?

  4. VaPragamtist Avatar

    15 years ago all schools banned cell phones but eventually did away with the bans. Too hard to enforce was one of the primary reasons cited.

    What's changed? Or do we think this is a new idea?

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Time has confirmed that cellphones in class is a very bad idea.. but no shock, they're bad ideas in the car as well as adult workplaces also… We are apparently unable to deal with our own behaviors so we have to "ban"!

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