Cellphone law right move for Ohio students

The state recently took a strong step forward to help the development of students in Ohio with the signing of House Bill 250, which aims to minimize the use of cellphones in classrooms across the state.

The bill requires every Ohio school district to establish an official cellphone-use policy, and we believe this is in the best interest of students throughout the state. The bill will minimize the distractions that mobile devices cause students every day and allow them to focus while in a learning environment that is tailored to their education and development.

“By limiting these distractions, we will reestablish the opportunity for students across Ohio to immerse themselves in their classwork, learn from their teachers and create lifelong memories with their closest friends,” DeWine stated in a news release after signing the bill last week.

We also believe this will have a positive effect on the mental health of students throughout the state.

According to research from the National Health Institute, excessive screen usage can lead to problems in social-emotional development, including obesity, sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety. It can also impair emotional comprehension, promote aggressive behavior and hinder social and emotional competence. So, this bill can positively impact students in multiple ways.

The bill, which was passed unanimously in the Ohio Senate and House, requires all districts to emphasize limiting the use of cellphones and reducing cellphone-related distractions in classrooms, the release states.

According to the release, the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce will publish a model policy that districts can follow to build their own policy. We implore districts throughout the Mahoning Valley to develop a policy that fits their needs while also adhering to the bill.

The bill includes exceptions for students who require a cellphone to monitor a health concern or for student learning as determined by school officials. While a complete elimination of cellphones from the academic environment may be accepted by some, cellphones can also be seen as a learning tool to be used during certain classroom activities that would aid a student’s learning ability, especially in today’s society where a new app or piece of technology is developed every day.

However, there still needs to be a balance.

Districts are required to adopt a cellphone policy no later than July, ahead of the 2025-26 school year. Before then, we encourage districts around the area to educate themselves on the model policy and create something that best fits the needs of their students because that is who this is about.



Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today