New York Governor Plans To Ban Smartphones in Schools To Protect Children

The legislation would allow schoolchildren to carry basic phones capable of texting but not accessing the internet.

AP/Haven Daley
Logos of social media platforms. AP/Haven Daley

The Democratic governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, has announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban the use of smartphones in schools.

The proposed bill is the latest initiative in a series of measures aimed at protecting young people from the potential negative effects of digital technology, the governor said.

“I have seen these addictive algorithms pull in young people, literally capture them and make them prisoners in a space where they are cut off from human connection, social interaction and normal classroom activity,” she said, according to the Guardian.

The legislation, slated for introduction later this year and set to be considered in New York’s next legislative session starting January 2025, would allow schoolchildren to carry basic phones capable of texting but not accessing the internet. Mrs. Hochul did not provide details on how the ban would be enforced.

It’s a delicate balance, the governor said. “Parents are very anxious about mass shootings in school. Parents want the ability to have some form of connection in an emergency situation.”

The proposed ban on smartphones follows two other bills from Mrs. Hochul focused on safeguarding children’s online privacy and limiting their access to certain social media features.

The Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation for Kids Act targets algorithmic feeds on social media platforms. If passed, the act would require the platforms to provide minors with a default chronological feed, composed solely of accounts they have chosen to follow, instead of algorithmically suggested content.

The bill also proposes giving parents more extensive controls, including the ability to block night-time notifications. Companies that violate these regulations would face fines of $5,000 per infraction, and parents would have the right to sue for damages.

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use