Man has created many technological inventions for the benefit of the human race. We cannot imagine our lives without electronic gadgets. Still, the undisputed fact remains that technology serves us well when we are Masters of Technology and not the other way around.
According to the federal National Center for Education Statistics, by 2020, 77% of schools have prohibited cell phones for non-academic use.
We must also do that in Santa Clarita.
Due to COVID-19, when schools turned to virtual learning, cellphones’ use among kids increased for academics and entertainment, but now that schools have opened in person, the use of cell phones among kids has only increased.
They have become habitual to the entertainment provided by phone, and social media algorithms ensure that kids will remain glued to their devices.
Kids use cell phones for video games, watching videos, and posting stuff on applications and social media, which provide virtual instant gratification with a super dopamine surge in kids’ brains. Many of these kids have difficulty staying focused and paying attention for a reasonable time to complete a task, and their academic performance dives down. The scores on standardized tests are at a historical low.
Algebra has been replaced by TikTok.
So, what should the school districts do? Students should be allowed to keep cell phones, but they should be SWITCHED OFF and placed in their backpacks. They can use them during school hours only if prompted by the teacher for an academic reason and must seek the teacher’s permission to use them for personal reasons.
I discussed this at the William S. Hart Union High School District board meeting on April 19, and urged the board members not to take this matter lightly and put this on the agenda. I have spoken at the board meetings several times in the last few months, regarding the adverse effects of Tik Tok, social media and that for our kids to do well, parents and schools must do what is required.
So far, the board still needs to put it on its agenda. Most parents, in my opinion, will agree that for our kids to do well, they should not be hooked to their cell phones, and schools should restrict their use.
I will continue to advocate for this.
Dr. Aakash Ahuja