Iowa school hopes ditching phones could help with teens' mental health

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Thursday, May 30, 2024
Iowa high school bans cellphone use to address student mental health
An Iowa high school plans to ban students from using cellphones in a bid to boost their mental health.

DES MOINES, Iowa (KABC) -- One Iowa high school is seeking a new way to address its students' mental health needs by curbing their technology consumption in the classroom.

Starting next school year, Hoover High School in Des Moines will prohibit phones from the school, including the use of headphones.

School officials say they decided to do this to try to improve students' mental health after seeing a rise in anxiety and depression.

"I feel like a lot of my mental issues were definitely amplified by the use of my phone because it provides distractions," student Caden Walker said.

A report found that Generation Z phone users have a daily average screen time of roughly 7 hours per day.

"One thing that we are needing to do for students, we are needing to re-imagine school for them, without a phone," assistant principal Rob Randazzo said.

The school is also asking parents to help by encouraging them to prohibit the use of social media for kids under age 16.