Los Angeles School District Votes in Favor of Cellphone Ban

Sara Randazzo & Alyssa Lukpat:

The Los Angeles Unified School District voted Tuesday to ban cellphones during the entire school day, becoming the largest school system to take such a step in an era of concern about youth cellphone use and social-media addiction.

Los Angeles, like many districts, currently has a policy prohibiting phone use during class time while allowing devices during lunchtime and breaks. Implementation has varied from classroom to classroom, and teachers find it difficult to police without consistent consequences.

The move by the Los Angeles school board, which voted 5 to 2 in favor of the ban, clears the way for school leaders to create a policy on how to ban devices that would take effect by January. The extent of the ban could vary by grade level, the board said.

The district, the nation’s second largest, will consider physically locking phones away in lockers or pouches, an approach being taken by an increasing number of schools and districts across the country. Other schools that banned smartphones have given students Light Phones, which have only calling and texting features.