Skip to main content
Politics

VA Gov. Youngkin signs executive order to get cellphones out of schools

Share

Virginia’s governor is the latest lawmaker to take on cellphone use in schools. On Tuesday, July 9, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R, issued an executive order to keep them out of schools across the state.

Media Landscape

See who else is reporting on this story and which side of the political spectrum they lean. To read other sources, click on the plus signs below.

Learn more about this data

Left 26%

Center 48%

Right 26%

Bias Distribution Powered by Ground News

The order directs Virginia’s Department of Education to help public schools create policies establishing what he calls “cell phone-free education.” 

The state is putting $500,000 toward working with parents, students, teachers and community members to develop age-appropriate restrictions during instructional time. They will also develop protocols to help parents contact their kids if there’s an emergency.

QR code for SAN app download

Download the SAN app today to stay up-to-date with Unbiased. Straight Facts™.

Point phone camera here

The order cites a teen mental health crisis and deteriorating academic achievement over the last decade as being partly driven by extensive social media and cellphone use. It also said the move will ensure kids spend less time on their phones without parental supervision. 

In May, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on the effects social media has on youth mental health. He’s also pushing to require tobacco-style warning labels on social media sites and apps. 

Other states have taken similar action when it comes to phones in classrooms. 

In 2023, Florida became the first state to prohibit the use of cellphones or other wireless devices during “instructional time” for K-12 students. In March, Indiana passed a law banning cellphones in class starting this upcoming school year. 

Los Angeles Unified School District leaders recently took up a measure to ban cellphones and social media during instruction time. After that, California’s governor said he would also support a statewide ban. In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul, D, is set to announce a bill to ban cellphones in schools later in 2024. 

Ohio’s governor also signed a new law in May that doesn’t go as far as to ban phones from classrooms, but it does require all districts create policies that seek to “minimize students’ use of cellphones.” Alabama’s state Board of Education passed a resolution earlier this year to “strongly encourage” districts to limit cellphone use in schools. 

Similarly, Utah’s governor sent a letter to his state’s board of education about his concerns over cellphone use in class and said he’d support a ban on the devices in schools. 

Federal lawmakers have also taken up the fight, although a federal ban on cellphones in schools is highly unlikely.

In November, Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Tim Kaine, D-Va., filed a bill calling for a federal study on how cellphone use in schools is affecting students’ academic performance and mental health.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[KARAH RUCKER]

VIRGINIA’S GOVERNOR IS THE LATEST LAWMAKER TO TAKE ON CELL PHONE USE IN SCHOOLS.

TUESDAY – GOVERNOR GLENN YOUNGKIN ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER… TO KEEP THEM OUT OF SCHOOLS ACROSS THE STATE.

THE ORDER DIRECTS VIRGINIA’S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO HELP PUBLIC SCHOOLS CREATE POLICIES ESTABLISHING WHAT HE CALLS “ CELL PHONE-FREE EDUCATION.”

THE STATE IS PUTTING 500-THOUSAND DOLLARS TOWARD WORKING WITH PARENTS, STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO DEVELOP AGE-APPROPRIATE RESTRICTIONS DURING INSTRUCTIONAL TIME.

THEY’LL ALSO DEVELOP PROTOCOLS TO HELP PARENTS CONTACT THEIR KIDS IF THERE’S AN EMERGENCY.

THE ORDER CITES A TEEN MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS AND DETERIORATING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OVER THE LAST DECADE AS BEING PARTLY DRIVEN BY EXTENSIVE SOCIAL MEDIA AND CELLPHONE USE.

IT ALSO SAYS THE MOVE WILL ENSURE KIDS SPEND LESS TIME ON THEIR PHONES WITHOUT PARENTAL SUPERVISION.

IN MAY – U-S SURGEON GENERAL VIVEK MURTHY ISSUED AN ADVISORY ON THE EFFECTS SOCIAL MEDIA HAS ON YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH. 

HE’S ALSO PUSHING TO REQUIRE TOBACCO-STYLE WARNING LABELS ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AND APPS.

OTHER STATES HAVE TAKEN SIMILAR ACTION WHEN IT COMES TO PHONES IN CLASSROOMS.

LAST YEAR – FLORIDA BECAME THE FIRST STATE TO PROHIBIT THE USE OF CELL PHONES OR OTHER WIRELESS DEVICES DURING “INSTRUCTIONAL TIME” FOR K THROUGH 12 STUDENTS.

IN MARCH – INDIANA PASSED A LAW BANNING CELLPHONES IN CLASS STARTING THIS UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR.

LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT LEADERS RECENTLY TOOK UP A MEASURE TO BAN CELLPHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA DURING INSTRUCTION TIME. AFTER THAT, CALIFORNIA’S GOVERNOR SAID HE’D SUPPORT A STATEWIDE BAN, AS WELL. AND IN NEW YORK, GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D) IS SET TO ANNOUNCE A BILL TO BAN CELLPHONES IN SCHOOLS LATER THIS YEAR.  

OHIO’S GOVERNOR ALSO SIGNED A NEW LAW IN MAY THAT DOESN’T GO AS FAR AS TO BAN PHONES FROM CLASSROOMS, BUT IT DOES REQUIRE ALL DISTRICTS CREATE POLICIES THAT SEEK TO “MINIMIZE STUDENTS’ USE OF CELLPHONES.” ALABAMA’S STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION PASSED A RESOLUTION EARLIER THIS YEAR TO “STRONGLY ENCOURAGE” DISTRICTS TO LIMIT CELLPHONE USE IN SCHOOLS.  

SIMILARLY, UTAH’S GOVERNOR SENT A LETTER TO HIS STATE’S BOARD OF EDUCATION ABOUT HIS CONCERNS OVER CELLPHONE USE IN CLASS AND SAID HE’D SUPPORT A BAN ON THE DEVICES IN SCHOOLS.  

FEDERAL LAWMAKERS HAVE ALSO TAKEN UP THE FIGHT, ALTHOUGH A FEDERAL BAN ON CELLPHONES IN SCHOOLS IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY. IN NOVEMBER, SENS. TOM COTTON (R-AR) AND TIM KAINE (D-VA) FILED A BILL CALLING FOR A FEDERAL STUDY ON HOW CELLPHONE USE IN SCHOOLS IS AFFECTING STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND MENTAL HEALTH.