No Cell Phones In JeffCo Middle Schools - Remove The Distraction - Be The Educated Adult
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It's finally here. The science is now available. And there is A TON of it.
Here's The Take Away:
- JeffCo Students are asking for help with stress - we know the numbers - they are self reporting suicide risk with a 700% increase in suicide risk in 3 years with JeffCo students.
- Some JeffCo families are blurring home cell phone rules because they are lead to believe their student needs a phone - because of school - to be socially or academically successful.
JeffCo Middle schools do not have the resources to monitor student cell phone usage but are seemingly afraid to remove this major distraction because they are afraid of parent/guardian pushback.
JeffCo - We've set our policy at home - we've "talked to our kids" - we now need our trusted educated advisors to help us with policy inside middle school walls.
You have opted to leave this decision up to the school, but the school often times leaves it up to the teacher and the teacher sometimes leaves it up to the kids. In the absence of district policy, our principals, teachers and families are challenged to debate this area and the debate is often subjective with little attention to research and science.
Our students are not educated decision makers - you are.
We know they have no impulse control. We know they are not developmentally ready.
Demonstrate leadership. Put cell phones away during the day at Jefferson County Middle Schools.
- Childrens Hospital of Colorado regarding smartphones - “..what an eighth-grader can handle and what a 10th- or 12th-grader can handle are significantly different,”. (Source April, 2018)
- 82% of surveyed parents/guardians show strong support for a change in middle school cell phone policies and want cell phones put away (Dec, 2017).
- 45% of students said they could reach social media sites on school-owned devices (Dec, 2017).
PRINCIPALS ARE BOLDY STEPPING OUT OF THE BOX
- Highlands Ranch: A full-on cell phone ban starting in the 2018/2019 school year (source)
- Durango: 2018 cell phone ban proved successful by producing "students who are happier, more focused on their work and are excelling on state tests." (source)
- Parker: Hurtful activity causes principal to employ a detox for 8th Graders (source)
TEACHERS ARE SEEING ACADEMIC/DEVELOPMENTAL IMPACTS* (source)
- 59% teachers say student's use has hurt their ability to communicate face to face
- 58% teachers say students’ use (including texting) has hurt writing skills
- 48% say student's use hurt the quality of students’ homework
- 42% teachers say student's usage has hurt critical thinking
FAMILIES ARE WORKING HARD ON THIS (source)
- 66% of parents/guardians and students say mobile devices are not allowed at their dinner table.
- 50% of parents/guardians try to cut down on the amount of time spent on devices
TEENS ARE REPORTING ADDICTION AND CHEATING (source)
- 72% of teens report the need to immediately respond to texts/notifications
- 52% of teens report they spend too much time on their mobile devices
- 50% of teens report the feeling of addiction to their mobile phones
- 29% of students admit to using devices to cheat in school — over 2X that know of classmates who have cheated with devices. (2017 source)
School Safety & Crisis Preparedness is Compromised: Emergency public first responders are speaking out and asking for your help - because student cell phones impede strategic School Safety & Crisis Preparedness (SOURCE). Student phones:
- have been used for calling in bomb threats to schools and, in many communities, these calls cannot be traced by public safety officials.
- could potentially detonate a real bomb if one is actually on campus.
- can hamper rumor control and, in doing so, disrupt and delay effective public safety personnel response.
- can impede public safety response by accelerating parental response to the scene of an emergency during times when officials may be attempting to evacuate students to another site.
- typically overload cell phone systems during a major crisis and usage by a large number of students at once could add to the overload. Cell phones may be a backup communication tool for school administrators and crisis teams, widespread student use in a crisis could thus eliminate crisis team emergency communications tools in a very short period of critical time.
* Usage includes music, video games, texting, social networking, apps, online videos, and websites for fun.)
ARE YOU GOING TO SIGN? PLEASE HELP: INDICATE IF YOU ARE A JEFFCO TEACHER, PUBLIC SERVICE PROVIDER OR FAMILY IN YOUR SIGNATURE COMMENT SO WE CAN TELL OUR SCHOOL BOARD.
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