CT Gov. Lamont urges lawmakers to pass bill to develop policy regulating cellphone use in schools

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
CT proposing ways to keep cell phones out of classrooms
Marcus Solis has more on the proposal.

MANCHESTER, Connecticut (WABC) -- Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is urging state lawmakers to pass legislation that would limit the disruptions caused by students using cellphones in schools.

The governor spoke at Illing Middle School in Manchester on Tuesday, where a pilot program was launched this year.

The program requires students to leave their cell phones at home or place them in a lockable made by a company called Yondr. The students would get to hold onto the pouch, but won't be able to access their phones until they're unlocked with a magnet at the end of the day.

Yondr pouches are already used at some concert and performance venues to prevent recording. Celebrities have been known to require guests to use them at private parties, but the technology is increasingly being used in schools, like in Brooklyn.

In Connecticut, Lamont's bill would make the state develop a cellphone policy that could be adopted by local school districts.

"I think these phones can really be incredibly distracting in the classrooms and in these schools," Lamont said. "I think we ought to find a way to give our schools the opportunity at their discretion to do what you're doing right here at this school."

On Tuesday, Lamont and education officials got some feedback on the pilot program -- one that's getting mixed reviews.

"I'm not a fan of cellphones in school," parent Stephanie Necatera said. "I didn't grow up with cellphones in school, we got them taken away, we had to keep them at home. Actually, I didn't have one until senior year, so I would love for no cellphones."

"It's important to them to have a cellphone in case of an emergency," parent Carolina Zelaya said.

Students told the governor that not having cellphones allows them to connect better with each other and with their teachers.

"Sometimes we just take it out and use them out of nowhere and we get distracted very easily... I can 100% agree with that," student Diego Hernandez said.

Senate Bill 14 would require school districts to outline a cellphone policy every five years, but for now, the proposed law is just that - a proposal being debated in the state legislature.

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Josh Einiger has the latest developments.


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