Dr. Aakash Ahuja | Smart Phones vs. Smart Kids

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

As schools shifted to virtual learning in 2020, kids’ dependency on technology increased significantly. The use of cell phones among middle and high school kids has increased, and simultaneously cases of cyberbullying, attention and concentration deficit have increased. Kids’ math, science and other critical academic scores suffered. Their ability to express themselves verbally has diminished. You can see kids sitting in the same room texting each other rather than speaking, or watching or making videos on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc. 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, too much screen time can harm a child’s mental health. It is not a surprise that kids’ mental health has been declining, and cell phones in school have contributed to that. The prevalence of anxiety and depression among teenagers is on the rise. 

According to an article by Elizabeth Germino on CBS News on Aug. 2, “A 2020 study found 96% of the high schools and middle schools surveyed had some kind of cellphone policy, with 78% prohibiting cellphone use during class time. The study also found that across grade levels, 99% of teachers support restrictions on cellphone use.” 

It also stated, “In 2019, California became the first state to enact a bill granting schools state-backed authority to regulate smartphones during the school day. Spokesperson for the senator who wrote the bill said it’s the first legislation to link smartphones with a decline in student mental health, and the first to request that schools look to implement smartphone regulations with students’ health in mind.” 

I know for sure that all the community members want our kids to be kids, be happy, and be mentally and physically healthy. I talked about this and presented these facts at the William S. Hart Union High School District board meeting on Feb. 15. I urged the board members and request all of you to join hands to help our kids achieve their goals and remove distractions and other problems caused by cell phones. 

Please do some research, think about this carefully, and if you agree, stand with me so we can change this. We have a choice to make: smart phones or smart kids? Make the right choice, choose smart kids! 

Dr. Aakash Ahuja

Santa Clarita

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