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Bexley City Schools ban personal electronic devices in classrooms including phones, watches

The 2019-20 year begins on August 13 for Bexley City Schools.
In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, a person uses a smart phone in Chicago. (AP Photo)

Bexley City School have announced they will be banning students from bringing personal electronic devices into classrooms for the upcoming school year.

In a letter sent home to parents, the district said, “students need an excuse to disconnect and we are that excuse.”

“…According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, adolescents are more likely to act on impulse and less likely to think before they act or pause to consider the consequences of their actions based on the stage of brain development they are in.

This means that students are less likely to be able to tune out the constant barrage of social media notifications or say “no” to the next game of Fortnite and set appropriate boundaries to differentiate work and play time…”

The district adds that students can store phones in their lockers to use before and after school. Students with a documented accommodation will still be allowed to take their devices into classrooms.

The letter asks parents to support the district’s efforts and say if there is an emergency, they can contact their children through the school office.

The 2019-20 year begins on August 13 for Bexley City Schools.

Below are the results of a survey released by the district.

What have our students said?

In April 2019, nationally recognized internet safety speaker Jesse Weinberger spoke to all students in grade 6-10 during grade level assemblies and hosted a parent night. During these assemblies, she collected anonymous data about student use of devices and social media.

  • 99% of our 6-10th graders own a smartphone.
  • 67% of our students admitted to sometimes having “trouble putting down their device.
  • 97% of our students reported that they have unrestricted access to YouTube at home.
  • 70% of students reported that their parents do not set limits for their device usage.
  • 85% of our students said they were “made uncomfortable or scared by online content.”
  • Our younger students are participating in more streaming services than older students (up to 70% in 6th grade). Many of these platforms are the most dangerous for children and share the most personally identifiable information.
  • 57% of our students said they wished social media had never been invented.

When asked what they wanted their parents to know, of the students who responded:

  • 41% said kids should not have social media
  • 21% said kids should not have phones
  • 38% said parents should set limits/ increase controls

After the presentation, students were given a chance to write down a change they will make as a result.

  • 9% said they would block strangers
  • 11% said they would change settings
  • 4% said they would watch less porn
  • 6% said they would stop sexting
  • 26% said they would delete at least one app
  • 7% said they would cover their device cameras
  • 28% said they would limit device time
  • 9% said they would limit content