LAUSD moving forward with plan to ban student cellphone use during school day

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
LAUSD bans student from using cellphones, social media during school
LAUSD - the second largest school district in the country - is banning students from using cellphones and social media during the school day.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District is moving forward with a plan to ban cellphone use during the school day, a move that has teachers and parents at odds.

The district school board on Tuesday voted in favor of banning phones and social media throughout the day on school campuses, including break periods. The policy will go into effect as early as January 2025.

Schools will be able to decide how to implement the phone ban, such as requiring that phones be placed in a locker or pouch during the day. The resolution directs staff to develop and present policies and a plan to the public before the board approves them within 120 days.

The plan includes possible litigation against social media giants, which LAUSD accuses of pumping out content, causing kids to become addicted to social media.

"No matter what we bring to the board in the next four months, it will come with an awareness campaign for all stakeholders including students, but advances also the critical element of pursuing litigation against social media giants for their careless, irresponsible and immoral actions that have put kids across the country in the position they're in today," said LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

Only two members voted against the motion, citing how difficult it would be for employees of the second largest school district in the country to enforce the ban and stay on top of it.

Nick Melvoin, the LAUSD school board member for District 4, spearheaded the ban. Melvoin said LAUSD's 2011 policy restricts cellphones but he says it is not fully enforced.

He said some schools already implement similar policies, including Marina Del Rey Middle School.

"When I talk to teachers and students and parents... I also hear the same, which is that more and more time is being spent on policing student phone use. There's not a coherent enforcement and they're looking for some support from the board and from the district," Melvoin said Tuesday. "The schools that have gone farther and that have already implemented a phone-free school day report incredible results. Kids are happier, they're talking to one another, their academics are up."

The move is drawing mixed reactions from parents. Some want to be able to communicate with their child during schools hours and others think the ban could improve learning and lead to less bullying.

This comes after U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy's op-ed calling for warning labels for younger users on social media platforms.