Usage of TikTok and Other Mobile Devices in the Classroom is Being Considered a Ban in Ohio!

A new bill introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives could drastically change the classroom dynamic for students statewide by banning the use of electronic devices, including cell phones and social media platforms like TikTok, during instructional time.

State Representative Tom Young, a Republican from the Dayton area and one of the primary sponsors of House Bill 485 emphasized the educational purpose of classrooms, stating, “The classroom is for study. It’s not for texting, watching TikTok or Snapchat, or ordering your lunch.”

Under the proposed legislation, each school district in Ohio would be required to establish its own policy enforcing the ban on electronic device usage in classrooms, with exceptions permitted for emergency situations or healthcare needs.

Representative Young highlighted the bill as a proactive measure to mitigate the negative impact of social media on K–12 students, citing concerns about cyberbullying and mental health issues arising from unrestricted cell phone use at school.

Governor Mike DeWine also addressed similar concerns during his recent State of the State address, acknowledging the disruptive nature of excessive cell phone usage in classrooms.

Several school districts, such as Parma, have already taken steps to restrict cell phone use during school hours, with initiatives like locking students’ phones in safes.

In addition to prohibiting cell phone use, the bill mandates the adoption of internet safety policies and specifically targets TikTok, aiming to limit students’ access to age-appropriate online content.

Representative Young emphasized the importance of considering students’ perspectives in crafting educational policies, noting, “When you speak with young people, students, which I have, there’s been no pushback whatsoever.”

Acknowledging potential opposition from social media companies, Young revealed plans to engage in discussions with relevant stakeholders, although specific companies were not disclosed.

The bill currently awaits assignment to a legislative committee for further consideration.

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