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Bill aims to ban cell phones in public schools, but is that necessary?

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Cell phones in classrooms.

Cell phones would be banned in Michigan public schools under a bill in the state House. For schools in Washtenaw County, this may not be necessary.

The main goal of the bill is to minimize digital distractions as students continue to recover from years of school drastically impacted by COVID-19.

Supporters of the bill also cite the dangers of social media as another concern. Some parents and educators see a phone as a tool to arrange for rides after school and communicate with family members.

Naomi Norman, superintendent of Washtenaw Intermediate School District, says this is an issue that has largely been dealt with already.

“We don’t feel that cell phone use in schools is something that needs to be legislated. It’s something that we can manage and negotiate within our own school districts, schools, and communities.”

Norman says schools have been successfully dealing with kids having cell phones for the better part of a decade.

The most common approach by teachers in Washtenaw County is to ban cell phones from classrooms for non-instructional use.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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