Middle schools ban smartphones so students build social smarts

Parents are big fans of Highland Middle School's cellphone ban

Parents of students say the ban helps their kids in many ways.
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Parents of students say the ban helps their kids in many ways.

Junior high students talking? Youngsters playing chess and cards? Can’t their parents afford smartphones?

Highland Middle School just banned cell phones during school. Principal Erick Baer said you can hear the difference because the cafeteria is noisy again with students learning to interact and enjoying being social without social media.

Parent Susan Olliges said the ban is a great idea.

“If they don’t have the social development, then they’re not going to know how to be social when they’re adults,” Olliges said.

About half of the middle schools in the metro-east have banned cell phones, and even more have restrictions on them following a trend to expand their use in class and at other times. Turning them off is a logical step for institutions charged with developing children into functional adults.

We’ve all been to restaurants and seen couples interacting with their phones rather than with their dates. We’ve seen gatherings where the young people are around the table staring at screens as tables of older folks gab.

Collinsville IL Middle School in Southern Illinois near St. Louis MO changed its cellphone policy, banning students from using their phones during the school day. Principal Kimberly Jackson said electronic devices have become distracting and pose

Virtual life is not a replacement for real life, and eventually you should hook those thumbs in your pockets, walk up to that other person and say, “Hi. How you doin?’”

The survival of the species may depend on it.