The Pasco County School Board has made it illegal for students to use cell phones in their elementary school classes due to worries about their mental health and misbehaviour.
Elementary children must adhere to the newly enacted policy, which is in force right away, which prohibits them from using any personal wireless communication devices while in class, including smart watches and wireless earbuds.
With respect to other grade levels, the board, which passed the legislation Tuesday night, was a little more indulgent.
With a teacher’s approval, middle school students may use their phones during lunch and in class for a specific lesson. High schools follow the same guidelines but additionally permit use during breaks.
Kurt Browning, the superintendent, declared: “I wanted the scorched earth policy, no cell phones anywhere in prekindergarten through 12th grade.” “We considered feedback from the public and made our decision.”
The proposed rule’s statement encouraging pupils to leave all electronics at home was removed by the board.
Colleen Beaudoin, a board member, led the effort to leave that clause out, noting that pupils need to learn how to navigate life while using technology. She added that parents depend on their children’s capacity to communicate for a number of factors, including safety and daily transportation.
Beaudoin won support to have the phrase changed by saying, “I think this is an infringement on parental rights and choices.”
The new regulation was adopted immediately after state lawmakers passed legislation limiting access to social media on school computers and networks and limiting phone use in classrooms to approved instructional purposes.
State and local governments based their decisions on worries that children’s mental health has deteriorated as a result of their growing access to smartphones and social media.
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