Thursday, May 30, 2024

Ban on cellphones in public schools gets Senate approval

by BIZ Magazine

BY: ALLISON ALLSOPThe Louisiana Illuminator

The Louisiana Senate unanimously passed a bill Monday that would prohibit students from using their phones during the school day.

Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, authored Senate Bill 207 to keep students from using cellphones in the classroom. The bill specifically prohibits students from having cellphones “on his person” throughout the school day.

It further states that any student who chooses to bring a phone onto campus must have it “turned off and properly stowed away” or be “prohibited from being turned on and used” during the school day.

School leaders already have the authority to make this policy and enforce it, but Mizell said in a committee meeting they are not. She called her bill the “backup” that systems need to implement this type of rule.

“We’re allowing the schools to say, ‘Blame it on the state, blame it on Sen. Mizell,” she said.

Sen. Katrina Jackson-Andrews, D-Monroe, supports the bill. She told senators a school in her district struggled to ban cellphones when students and their parents pushed back hard against it.

School system leaders are also against the proposal because it will force them to review and rewrite their policy, said Michael Faulk, executive director of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents.

“It’s amazing to me, we come to this building and we can acknowledge a problem, but we’re going to find a reason to keep ignoring the problem,” Mizell said to opponents of the bill in committee.

Her bill is now headed to the House.

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