Pennsylvania Lawmaker Implies Students Have Cell Phones Locked Away in School

Usually, students are not allowed to have cell phones in schools. However, some students still use them. Pennsylvania State Senator Ryan Aument, who represents Lancaster and is a member of the Republican party, wants to restrict the use of cell phones by students while they are in the classroom.

“It has caused a significant change in the brain of teenagers, which is concerning,” Aument said. His idea is for schools to test a pilot program.

“It’s not mandatory, but schools have the option to participate and they would be able to receive grant funding for cell phone lockers,” he said. The phones will be kept locked during school hours.

The students’ lockers would not contain it. They would be placed in a separate area where students cannot access the phones. Aument mentioned that children using cell phones can have negative effects on their mental health.

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“Between approximately 2010 and 2013, there was a direct correlation with the increasing number of students who had smartphones and access to social media,” Aument explained.

According to his proposed legislation, the rates of teen depression have increased by 150%. In 2012, math and reading scores in Pennsylvania dropped for the first time in 25 years. Kaili Linask, who is a freshman at Franklin and Marshall College, had some situations in high school where her phone could have been useful for communicating with her family.

“There was a gas leak and everyone’s phones were in their lockers, so nobody could talk to each other,” Linask said. As a result, parents and students who were concerned had to go without their phones for an additional two days while the school was closed. Linask’s school also experienced a situation where a lockdown was feared.

“We had a new teacher who didn’t know that a resource officer was someone who carries a gun at my school,” she said. “They called for a lockdown and everyone was panicking, sending text messages to their parents, saying, ‘I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s serious.'”

Aument states that from 2010 to 2015, the number of American teenagers with a smartphone increased from 23% to 73%. Aument is optimistic about completing the language of the legislation soon. After that happens, he wants to invite professionals to talk about data with members of the Senate.

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