The Push To Cut Phones From Classrooms, Lawmakers Discuss Legislation

Lawmakers are expected to discuss legislation that would make Oklahoma classrooms cellphone free, but with more than 40 bills on the agenda it keeps getting pushed back.

Wednesday, February 28th 2024, 5:13 pm

By: News 9


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Lawmakers are expected to discuss legislation that would make Oklahoma classrooms cellphone free, but with more than 40 bills on the agenda it keeps getting pushed back.

The biggest topic of concern was what would happen in an emergency.

Some of the worst case scenarios were discussed, like what would happen if students couldn't call police if there was a school shooting.

The author, Senator Adam Pugh, says he's still working on all of the logistics of the legislation and wants to take those safety concerns into consideration.

But he says he believes this bill is important to eliminate the distractions of cell phones in the classroom. The bill would impose a statewide mandate for districts adopt a policy to prohibit students usage of cell phones anywhere on campus.

Senator Seifried recently introduced a bill, directing the State Department of Education to start a pilot program to incentivize phone-free spaces for student learning. Seifried said the goal of the program was to remove distractions for students in order to increase educational outcomes, in addition to limiting the damaging effects of cellphone use on students’ mental health and wellbeing.

“I want to give students the gift of undistracted learning, that for those seven hours a day, they're there to learn and listen and also to make friends and socialize and not have their heads down on their phones,” said Sen. Seifried.

The program would provide grants for up to nine schools to implement phone-free learning. The senator is hoping each district that receives the grant uses it differently, so they can compare and contrast at the end of the pilot program. 

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