British Government Issues Guidance Banning Cellphones In Schools – Will U.S. Do The Same?

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The government in the United Kingdom has issued a guidance banning cellphones in schools, leading to questions as to whether the United States should follow suit.

Schools Told They Should Ban Cellphones

The New York Post reported that Britain’s Education Secretary Gillian Keegan issued a guidance last Monday recommending that school principals ban phone use during both classroom time and free time throughout the day. Her department said that this move “aims to support the wider work the government is doing to raise standards in schools by increasing students’ focus and reducing distractions.”

“Gillian believes that mobile phones pose a serious challenge in terms of distraction, disruptive behaviour, and bullying,” a government insider told Daily Mail. “It is one of the biggest issues that children and teachers have to grapple with so she will set out a way forward to empower teachers to ban mobiles from classrooms.”

Keegan reportedly firmly believes that this move will serve to help boost attention during school lessons.

Related: Study: Parents Are More Addicted to Smartphones, Screens Than Children

‘A Fantastic Move’

“This is a fantastic move forward for ensuring that students are able to work, learn and grow in a place free from the distracting influence of mobile phones,” Tom Bennett, a behavior management adviser to the British Department for Education, told Fox News. “This is a positive and progressive step forward.”

It will be up to the schools themselves whether or not they follow this guidance. Keegan issued the guidance after researchers with the British government found that 29% of secondary school students said in a poll that they used cellphones in most or all of their classes. Portugal, Italy and France have all already made moves to ban cellphones in classrooms as well.

A recent UNESCO report stated that from an educational perspective, “Mere proximity to a mobile device was found to distract students and to have a negative impact on learning in 14 countries . . .”

Related: Poll Shows a Whopping 20% of Gen Z is ‘LGBT.’ How Did This Happen?

Experts And Parents Support Ban

CEO of OptimaEd and faculty at the Leadership Institute’s School Board Programs Erika Donalds supported the move to ban cellphones in schools.

“We can’t have any more distractions,” Donalds told CBS2. “We need to create a scholarly environment in our classrooms to help our students succeed.”

“I think understanding how teachers are using phones as tools for educational purposes could be helpful in thinking about this,” added Human Development & Family Studies Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dr. Heather Kirkorian. “I’m really curious how this rolls out in different schools because access to things like lockers and things like that vary from one school to the next.”

“I think it places a lot of burden on teachers to have to manage things, so a zero-tolerance policy may be a little bit easier to manage,” she continued.

Parent & Now I Am Known foundation founder Peter Mutabazi also celebrated the move.

“I made a decision that I will not give my kid a cell phone until they are 13,” he said. “Yes, there’s a side where I say well what if something happens, how will I know? But also, I trust in school – that their school will let me know.”

Any parent of a member of Generation Z has seen firsthand just how out of control cellphone use is with young people today. It remains to be seen if the U.S. Department of Education will issue a similar guidance when it comes to recommending banning cellphones in schools.

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