Ohio Considers Bill to Limit Cell Phone Use in Schools

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has proposed a new measure aimed at helping children during his State of the State address. The proposal includes a ban on cell phones in classrooms, with exceptions for educational purposes, emergencies, and health care management.

Under House Bill 485, students would only be allowed to use their cell phones in class if permitted by their teachers for educational activities, in case of an emergency, or as part of an individualized education program.

Additionally, schools would be required to develop plans to prevent students from accessing social media platforms unless directed by a teacher for educational purposes.

The Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) has already implemented a strict phone policy since 2022, aimed at minimizing distractions during class time. According to TSA Director Rob Koenig, the policy has been effective in reducing the amount of time students spend on their phones during lessons.

Koenig explained that prior to the implementation of their policy, cell phones were a significant distraction for students, often leading them to focus more on texting or social media than on their studies.

Ohio Considers Bill to Limit Cell Phone Use in Schools

With the new policy in place, students are still allowed access to their phones if needed but are not permitted to have them out during class.

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If House Bill 485 becomes law, TSA will be well-prepared, as their existing policy aligns with the proposed statewide mandate. Koenig expressed confidence that TSA is already following the guidelines that the bill aims to establish.

Overall, the proposed legislation seeks to address concerns about excessive cell phone use in schools, aiming to create a more focused and productive learning environment for students across Ohio.

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