The Rise of Smartphone Bans in Schools: A Growing Trend Across the Globe


Eton College, a prestigious British boarding school with a long history of producing notable alumni, is introducing a unique mobile phone policy for its first-year students. Starting in September, students will be required to leave their smartphones at home and bring their SIM card to school, which will be placed in an old Nokia cell phone with a simple number pad. This device will only allow students to make phone calls and send text messages, with no access to the internet or other digital features.

The policy is based on guidelines from the UK government, which gives principals the authority to implement smartphone bans during school hours. The move is aimed at reducing distractions and promoting academic focus among students.

The trend of smartphone bans is not unique to the UK, as many American school districts are also implementing similar policies. According to data from Govspend, 41 states have at least one school district that requires students to place their smartphones in magnetically sealed pouches when they arrive at school.

In California, the Los Angeles Unified School District recently passed a district-wide school phone ban, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to call for a similar law at the state level. Meanwhile, New York City’s chancellor of public schools, David Banks, plans to institute a phone ban in the coming weeks. New York Governor Kathy Hochul is working with the state legislature to pass two new bills that would restrict students’ access to internet-enabled phones.

Florida has also taken action, implementing a statewide smartphone ban in schools that requires schools to block students from accessing social media on their Wi-Fi networks.

Danny Gallagher
Danny Gallagher
Tech Reporter based in Dallas. Daniel's work has appeared in The Dallas Observer, D Magazine, CNET, Cracked, The Onion AV Club and Retro Gamer magazine. He's also written material for games published by Jackbox Games and the first ever Halloween episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

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