Los Angeles Unified School District Bans Cellphones, Social Media

Students Sitting Inside the Classroom While Using Their Smartphone
RDNE Stock project/Pexels

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s board voted 5-2 in favor of banning cellphones and social media use during the day amid outcry from educators.

The ban in Los Angeles public schools will go into effect come spring 2025 and goes beyond the previous district policy of only banning cellphones during class instruction while limiting social media to “educational purposes.” The ban comes following a Pew Research Center showing that 72 percent of high school teachers in the United States believe cellphone use has become “a major problem in the classroom.” As noted by CNN, the previous policy took effect in 2011 and became relatively toothless in the face of smartphone use exploding over the past decade.

“Our students are glued to their cell phones – not unlike adults,” said board member Nick Melvoin, who supports the ban. “They’re surreptitiously scrolling in school, in class time. They have their head in their hands walking down the hallways. They’re not talking to each other or playing at lunch or recess because they have their AirPods in.”

District members supporting the ban wrote that research shows “excessive cell phone use impacts adolescents mental health and well-being and is associated with increased stress, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, feelings of aggression, and suicidal thoughts.”

“Research indicates that limiting cell phone usage and social media access during the school day increases academic performance and has positive effects on student mental health,” they added.

Parents expressed concern that the blanket ban could put their children at risk in the case of an emergency.

“I think in emergencies and with parent communication, this is definitely where a lot of parents have expressed their concerns to me,” Melvoin said. “I think it’s such a tragic sign of the times, that that is what we initially think of. And we all need to do better in this country when it comes to gun violence prevention and keeping our students safe.”

Board members say the ban may be implemented differently depending on the school. Some might require them to be kept in the students’ lockers while others might have them placed in a magnetic pouch. The district also recognized an adequate system needs to be developed on informing parents in case of an emergency. Other parents and administrators also expressed concern that students who do not speak English might need their phone as a translator.

“There will be differences between schools,” LAUSD School Board President Jackie Goldberg said. “But the idea is very simple: If you bring your phone to school at all, you park it at the beginning. You’ll put it in a locker or a pouch … and you’ll pick it up on your way home.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, administrators hope that the ban will lead to better socialization and even less bullying.

“The resolution also cites a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 16% of U.S. high school students in 2021 said they had been bullied via text message or social media over the previous year,” it noted. “While social media provide a convenient platform for bullying, it’s difficult to say how much that would change with a school-day cellphone ban, since the devices and social media would be available at other times.”

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning Christian tech thrillerEXEMPLUM, which has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critic rating and can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free rental can also be streamed on Google PlayVimeo on Demand, or YouTube Movies. Follow him on X @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.