New York to Ban Phones in City Classrooms Over Mental Health Concerns


New York Governor Kathy Hochul is advocating for a ban on smartphones in city classrooms, highlighting concerns about the negative impact of social media on student mental health. The proposed legislation would restrict students from accessing smartphones during school hours, although they would still be allowed to carry basic flip phones to maintain communication with their parents.

Governor Hochul's initiative comes amid growing concerns over the addictive nature of social media and its detrimental effects on youth. Hochul pointed out that students often experience anxiety and pressure due to the constant presence of social media, leading to issues such as fear of missing out (FOMO) and cyberbullying. "They’re living in this dark place where there’s this FOMO," Hochul stated, emphasizing the need to "liberate them from this"​.

The ban, which could be implemented as early as next year, has garnered support from various stakeholders, including educators and parents. Schools Chancellor David Banks expressed his approval, noting that the issue of smartphone use in classrooms has been a significant concern for teachers and administrators. He welcomed the governor’s focus on addressing this problem​​.

This move is not without precedent; New York City previously had a ban on cell phones in public schools, which was lifted in 2015 under then-Mayor Bill de Blasio. The decision to lift the ban was primarily driven by the need for parents to stay in touch with their children. However, the return to restrictive policies reflects a broader reconsideration of how technology impacts student well-being and academic performance​​.

Julie Scelfo, founder of Mothers Against Media Addiction, praised the proposed legislation as a crucial step towards safeguarding students from the harmful effects of addictive technology. She stressed the importance of keeping classroom environments focused on education and face-to-face interactions, free from the distractions posed by smartphones​.

In response to concerns about emergency communication, Governor Hochul suggested that students could use non-smartphone devices to contact their parents if needed. "I’m okay if you have a flip phone," she said, underlining the need to balance safety with the necessity of reducing social media use during school hours​ ​.

While the proposal has yet to be formalized into legislation, Hochul’s office has confirmed ongoing discussions with educators, parents, and lawmakers to shape the details of the potential ban. The legislative session for this proposal is expected to begin in January 2025​​.

This initiative is part of a broader effort by the state to tackle mental health issues among young people. Recent studies have shown that limiting smartphone use can lead to significant improvements in student mental health and reduce instances of cyberbullying and other social media-related problems​.


  1. Phones have no place in the classroom and need to be banned completely. If a parent needs to contact their “child”, they can call the school’s office, not interrupt the classroom. If the “child” needs to make a call, they can wait until class is over.


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