LAUSD votes to ban smartphone usage

| June 27, 2024 | 0 Comments

GROUP OF KIDS playing video games on smart phone after school Photo by

Action follows Pilgrim’s ‘no cell phone’ policy

In our June issue, the Larchmont Chronicle ran an article about the positive change that local TK-to-12th grade Pilgrim School saw this year after using Yondr pouches to implement a “no cell phones” policy during the school day.

On June 18, the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) voted to implement a ban on student use of smartphones during the school day district-wide. The decision makes LAUSD the largest school district in the country to move to such a ban.

Resolution No. 035-23/24, which was put forth by board members Nick Melvoin, Tanya Ortiz Franklin and Jackie Goldberg, is titled “Supporting Student Mental Health and Learning by Ensuring a Phone-Free School Day.”

The board resolved that LAUSD staff will present a proposed implementing policy within 120 days of the meeting. The goal is to prohibit the use of cell phones and social media platforms district-wide during the school day. The policy would go into effect no later than the second semester of 2024-2025’s school year.

Speaking at the board meeting, Melvoin said he seeks the new policy because he has noticed a recurring problem of students’ cell phones distracting them from learning, harming their mental health and stifling in-person interaction.

After visiting two schools at which students did not have phones and seeing an overall positive atmosphere where students were alert and engaged, he knew this needed to be the norm and not an outlier situation.

“It is my hope that by creating a truly phone-free school day district-wide, we can help our kids learn, grow and thrive without the harmful distractions of these addicting devices,” Melvoin stated.

What Melvoin and the LAUSD board majority seek for the district is the positive result that has occurred during the first phone-free year at Pilgrim School. In addition to the district ban, the LAUSD board will advocate for legislation, at the state and federal level, limiting the use of smartphones in schools and will advocate for legislation to limit social media platform usage. The June 18 board action even supports potential litigation aimed at social media platforms that hamper learning and play a part in negatively affecting student mental health.

To learn more about the resolution, go to page 8 at

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