Middle School to Restrict Student Cell Phone Use

(DailyVantage.com) – A Seattle middle school plans to enforce restrictions on student cellphone usage, marking another instance of a school attempting to combat the recent decline in student performance and mental health.

The Hamilton International Middle School announced the planned cell phone use restriction as part of an ongoing effort to help students who struggle academically and provide various benefits to students by limiting cell phone usage. The restrictions come as various education professionals in the United States have called for a ban on cell phones during school hours due to the detrimental impact phones have on a student’s mental health and ability to focus.

Limiting cell phone usage has several benefits, including decreased bullying between students, improved academic performance, stronger student engagement, and an overall decrease in mental health issues for the school’s student body. The Hamilton International Middle School plans to restrict students’ access to cell phones by having them turn their phones in to various school officials, who’ll keep the phones in a pouch that students aren’t allowed to access during school hours.

School officials plan to lock the pouches during the school day and will only unlock a student’s cell phone pouch at the end of the school day or when the student leaves the campus. School officials claim the restrictions will help prevent distractions among the students, and as a result, students will remain engaged with their lessons throughout the day. Hamilton International Middle School’s planned restriction comes as various lawmakers throughout the federal government have proposed legislation limiting students’ access to their cell phones.

One such legislator is the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul. Hochul recently announced her plan to introduce a bill that would ban cell phones from schools by January of next year due to concerns about cell phones and their impact on students’ ability to focus on their education. According to the president of Seattle’s Parent Teacher Student Association, Molly Branson-Thayer, a top concern among parents is cell phone usage during school hours.

Branson-Thayer said parents had asked student officials to restrict cell phone usage so their children could perform better in school, a primary reason for the planned restriction. The restriction also comes as a response to teachers calling for cell phone regulation, as students have become increasingly disruptive and inattentive over the past few years. According to some Seattle teachers, they spend hours each day trying to prevent students from using their cell phones rather than teaching the class.

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