The Republican Standard

Governor Youngkin Signs Executive Order Getting Cell Phones Out Of Classrooms

Governor Glenn Youngkin followed in the steps of several other governors on Tuesday with a directive to get cell phones out of public school classrooms.

The Governor noted the following about the action in a media release:

“This essential action will promote a healthier and more focused educational environment where every child is free to learn. Creating cell phone and social media-free educational environments in Virginia’s K-12 education system will benefit students, parents, and educators. Today’s Executive Order both establishes the clear goal to protect the health and safety of our students by limiting the amount of time they are exposed to addictive cell phones and social media and eliminates clear distractions in the classroom. It also kicks off the robust conversations among parents, students, teachers, and school and community leaders necessary to design and implement these policies and procedures at the local level.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons also added:

“Cell phones and digital media have caused pre-teens and teens to disconnect from the real world, have increased mental health challenges, and have caused significant disruption in the important daily learning opportunities in their classrooms. Parents and teachers understand the importance of creating cell phone-free education in our schools so that students can focus on instruction and learning during the school day. We look forward to facilitating conversations around the danger to our children of cell phones, social media, and the impact of screen time and will focus on creating guidance that protects the health and safety of our students.

The measure is expected to take effect in the coming school year. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has been instructed “to publish their draft guidance by August 15.”  Final guidance expected to be issued in September for local school divisions to adopt policies by January 1, 2025.

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