Education

Park City schools support Governor’s call for cell phone-free classes

SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Spencer Cox has recently penned letters to district and charter school leaders, school principals, school community council members and the State Board of Education to ask them to remove cell phones during class time.

Gov. Cox shared his concerns about the harmful effects social media has on the youth, and suggests that removing cell phones from classrooms will improve student’s learning.

“We all know that cell phones are a distraction and when we put phones away we can actually focus and study,” Gov. Cox said.

“Cell phone-free learning environments will help our teachers teach and our students learn. We want to give our schools every opportunity to succeed and so I hope our local school districts and charter schools will join me in this effort to keep phones in backpacks or lockers during class time.”

Several schools in Utah have already implemented school-wide bans on cell phone usage, not allowing them to be used at any time of the day.

The Park City School District abides by a limited cell phone usage policy in school, and released the following statement regarding Governor Cox’s letter.

“We stand in agreement with Governor Cox’s concerns regarding the impact of cell phones on learning environments and student well-being. In the Park City School District, each school’s current practices allow limited cell phone usage primarily before, after, and during lunch times.”

“We emphasize the necessity for any potential policies to be developed collaboratively with parents, ensuring that they do not overly burden educators with enforcement responsibilities. The safety and well-being of our students are of paramount importance to us, and we share the Governor’s commitment to creating a conducive learning environment.”

Other schools throughout the state, such as the Delta High School in the Millard School District have implemented a “cell phone-free” policy, where students place their phones in a clear pocket that hangs in front of the classroom at the start of the day.

“It was a battle to begin with, but it has been so worth it. Students and parents have all adapted, our teachers are happier and learning has increased,” said Delta High School Assistant Principal Jared Christensen.

Evergreen Junior High in the Granite School District has adopted a similar approach, and does not allow cell phones to be out anytime during the school day.

“It’s so much easier to just ban them altogether,” said Principal Ryan Shaw.

“Learning has improved, and our scores reflect that. Bullying and fighting have decreased. The students connect with each other in a more meaningful way. We are grateful for the support we have from our community council – it’s been critical.”

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