Reports: Banning Cell Phones During School Day has Positive Impact

Reports: Banning Cell Phones During School Day has Positive Impact

The ban of cell phones by one of Florida’s largest school districts – Orange County (Orlando) – is making national news and raising questions about the use of cell phones by students.

Following the recent Florida law requiring public school districts to ban cellphones during instructional time, the New York Times released an article questioning the sudden uptick in school cellphone bans and stated “the new state rules reflect an intensifying global crackdown on young people and social media.”

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The article suggests that one reason schools might be banning phones is because of the many students that have participated in harmful social media trends. The article states, “Young people have filmed violent school fights and posted the videos on TikTok. Students have also participated in social media challenges in which they vandalized school property.”

Additionally, the article points to cyberbullying as another reason why cellphones are being banned. Florida’s cellphone ban, (which took effect last July) requires public schools to block students from social media on district Wi-Fi and also requires schools to teach students about the effects social media has on behavior. 

Following the state-wide cell phone ban, Orange County took matters a step further this past fall and banned Orange County Public School students from using cell phones for the entire school day. Many students and parents thought of this measure as “too extreme”. However, studies on the subject have reported a benefit to such a ban.

For example, one study compared schools that have cellphone bans and schools that did not to investigate the effects cellphones have on students. The report stated, “We found that banning mobile phones at school leads to an increase in student performance. Our results suggest that after schools banned mobile phones, test scores of students aged 16 increased by 6.4% of a standard deviation.” The article went on to say that the effects were twice as large for low-achieving students, and there was no impact found on high achieving students.

Also, the USA Today published an article that supports the idea that cellphone bans are largely beneficial for low achieving students stating, “Lower achieving ones are more likely to get distracted, which makes them more susceptible to the detrimental effects of cellphones in the classroom.” The article continues, “A host of other studies, including Belgium Spain and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, also show that banning mobile phones from schools improves academic performance, especially for low-preforming students.”

2 Responses to "Reports: Banning Cell Phones During School Day has Positive Impact"

  1. No question they should be banned from the classroom. Additionally, anyone who simply films and uploads a violet act or crime for social media clicks should be charged with a new crime titled, “Exploiting a Criminal Act for Personal Gain”, which should carry a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 1-year of jail/prison.

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