California's Gavin Newsom Targets Smartphone Use in Schools

Legislation Aims to Curb Classroom Distractions from Smartphones.

by Nouman Rasool
California's Gavin Newsom Targets Smartphone Use in Schools
© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Yesterday, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, appeared in public to commend certain legislative activities that aim at eradicating the use of smartphones for educational purposes, with particular emphasis on the points that were made by the U.

S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, recently. This comes as new data depicts the fact that this is negatively affecting the youths, as those who are always on the networks are gradually experiencing a decline in mental health. The child-focused idea was named by the Democratic Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, citing that they would rather sit on their device screen.

There is no reason a child or a teenager in school should be taping when they should be learning, opined Governor Newsom. He said this is done as he continues to advance a 2019 legislation that he signed intended to prohibit the utilization of smartphones in some ways in schools.

Smartphone Ban Urgency

This concentration on smartphone use in school may well fit with Surgeon General Murthy's recent effort to mandate 'edge' labels on social media. To address the problem, Murthy underlined it as an "emergency" in the opinion piece titled Adolescents' Mental Health is an Emergency and discussed three lessons to learn from it, including the school's and parents' cooperation struggle against the effects of the social media excessive use.

Murthy's recommendations include making schools phone-free zones and delaying children's access to social media until after middle school. Additionally, he urged parents to protect their children's sleep and encourage real-life interactions over virtual ones.

This is the mean social media usage of adolescents that was identified by Gallup polls: 4 hours. As is evident from the earlier points, the majority of people spend 8 hours daily on social media. Almost all the participants who spent more than three hours on the SDMs faced a higher possibility of mental health problems, according to the same study conducted in 2019.

Murthy noted that similar warning labels have been effective for tobacco and alcohol products, which require congressional approval. He argued that such labels could serve as powerful deterrents against the risks posed by social media.

Newsom's initiative coincided with the Los Angeles school board's decision to ban cellphones in classrooms. Board member Nick Melvoin, who championed the resolution, highlighted the pervasive distraction caused by smartphones.

"Our students are glued to their cellphones, not unlike adults," Melvoin told the Los Angeles Times. "They're not talking to each other or playing at lunch or recess because they have their AirPods in."