Gov. Cox sends letters to school leaders and educators encouraging phone-free classrooms
Jan 10, 2024, 12:13 PM | Updated: 2:31 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is urging educators to keep phones out of classrooms.
In letters to district and charter school leaders, principals, school community council members, and the State Board of Education, Cox shared his concerns about the harmful effects of social media and requested that educators remove cell phones during class time.
“We all know that cell phones are a distraction and when we put phones away we can actually focus and study,” Gov. Cox said. “Cell phone-free learning environments will help our teachers teach and our students learn. We want to give our schools every opportunity to succeed and so I hope our local school districts and charter schools will join me in this effort to keep phones in backpacks or lockers during class time.”
Cox gave two examples of schools implementing no cell phone policies.
Delta High School in the Millard School District is a “cell phone-free” school. Students at Delta put their phones in clear pockets that hang in front of the classroom.
“It was a battle to begin with, but it has been so worth it. Students and parents have all adapted, our teachers are happier and learning has increased,” Assistant Principal Jared Christensen said.
At Evergreen Junior High in the Granite School District, phones are not allowed to be out at any time throughout the school day. Students cannot use phones in classrooms, halls or the lunchroom.
“It’s so much easier to just ban them altogether,” said Evergreen Principal Ryan Shaw. “Learning has improved, and our scores reflect that. Bullying and fighting have decreased. The students connect with each other in a more meaningful way. We are grateful for the support we have from our community council – it’s been critical.”
The letter encouraged school leaders to educate parents about the benefits of phone-free learning.
Cox said he would be reaching out in the coming months “to see how implementation is going.”