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No smartphones in school? Gov. Lamont proposes it

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says phones are "distracting" for students and should be banned from the classroom.

John Craven

Feb 9, 2024, 10:20 PM

Updated 162 days ago

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Smartphones are almost everywhere. You're probably even reading this story on one.
But Gov. Ned Lamont says phones are "distracting" for students and should be banned from the classroom.
Not all parents agree.
SMARTPHONE BAN?
Lamont first pitched the idea during his State of the State address on Wednesday.
"I do find that social media is sometimes fundamentally anti-social," he told lawmakers, "and I think too much smartphone makes you stupid."
On this weekend's "Connecticut Power and Politics," Lamont said that the Connecticut State Department of Education will send out guidance to local school districts soon. He's also proposing a bill requiring CSDE to update its cellphone policy every five years.
"A lot of them have been receptive," he told host Mark Sudol. "Some of the 'helicopter parents' say, 'I always want to be in contact with my child – wherever, whenever. So the schools will work this out on their own."
Lamont suggested sealing students' phones in Yondr pouches, like you get at concerts and comedy shows.
"Some districts have the pouches," said Fran Rabinowitz, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. "The students' cellphones are collected before the beginning of class. Others have nothing."
PARENTS DIVIDED
Some parents love Lamont's idea.
"I taught second and fourth grade. I, as a teacher, cannot imagine what it's like having cellphones in the classroom," said Rachel Gerber, of Southport. "It's unnecessary."
But school leaders say phones can help kids learn. And many parents want them for safety, especially in an emergency.
"It's a toss-up," said parent Edmund LaSane. "You've got safety and then, you don't want the kids to be distracted as well from their work."
In a situation like a bomb threat, Rabinowitz said phones can actually make a bad situation worse.
"I totally understand the parents driving in, but I would also say, it becomes much more difficult to evacuate a building when you have tons of parents pulling in," she said. "Many school districts have already recognized that, and they have policies in place."


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