SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California wants all school districts to come up with smartphone policies, including banning or restricting when students can use the phones at school or on school grounds.

Assembly Bill 272 would allow students to keep their phones with them at school, in case of emergency or for learning purposes.

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The bill’s author, Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D- Torrance), said, “Cell phones can be a distraction in the classroom, and there are social and emotional consequences to too much use. According to studies, kids who are heavy users of social media are showing signs of depression and other mental health problems in greater numbers. Studies have also shown that restricting cell phone use improves pupil performance.”

A Pew Research Center study conducted in 2018 found 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, a 22% increase since 2014-15.

A psychology professor at San Diego State University found in 2017: “8th grade pupils who spend 10 or more hours per week on social media are 56% more likely to describe themselves as unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Moreover, teenagers who spend three hours per day or more on electronic devices are 35% more likely to demonstrate risk factors for suicide, such as suicidal ideation; and, teenagers who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71% more likely to demonstrate a risk factor for suicide.”

ALSO: More Time On Smartphones Linked To Higher Suicide Risk In Teens, Study Says

According to a study done by Common Sense Media, 13-18-year-olds spend:

  • 8:56 a day consuming entertainment on TV, computer, smartphone
  • 6:40 a day of screen media

8-12-year-olds spend:

  • 5:55 a day consuming entertainment on TV, computer, smartphone
  • 4:36 of screen media

The London School of Economics and Political Science found student test scores improved significantly at schools that had smartphone bans, specifically among disadvantaged and underachieving students.

France banned smartphones at all primary and middle schools at the start of the school year.

AB 272 goes before the Assembly Education Committee in April.

Swipe for weird California laws still on the books.