PTC Says VA Governor is Wise to Issue “Cellphone-Free Education” Order

Written by PTC | Published July 10, 2024

LOS ANGELES (July 10, 2024) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) said that the executive order to create a “cellphone-free education” issued by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is a necessary step to improve education and children’s mental health in school.

“Gov. Youngkin is wise to combat cellphone usage in schools, and joins Los Angeles Unified School District, and half a dozen states in pushing back against this trend which has harmed our children’s education and mental health. Children’s access to cellphones during the school day has been problematic for some time and we are encouraged that leaders are working to enhance and improve learning environments,” said Melissa Henson, vice president, Parents Television and Media Council.

“Children’s health and well-being is being harmed by addictive technology and social media. Youth can be exposed to predators, sexually explicit and graphically violent content, and powerful algorithms that feed harmful content to children.

“Beyond concerns about mental health challenges exacerbated by internet-connected, highly portable technology, teachers and school administrators are also observing classroom disruptions and disciplinary problems arising from students bringing their phones into class, while others are concerned that these devices, far from being learning aids, are actually impairing learning and negatively impacting student achievement and retention.”

According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in fall 2023, 72% of U.S. high school teachers consider cellphone distraction a major problem in their classrooms.

The U.S. Surgeon General has called for warning labels to be added to social media platforms, saying that the “mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor.” He also warned, saying, “These harms [from social media] are not a failure of willpower and parenting; they are the consequence of unleashing powerful technology without adequate safety measures, transparency or accountability.”

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