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Could South Florida school districts ban cellphone use? It would not be easy

Phone ban legislation in LA coming to South Florida?
Phone ban legislation in LA coming to South Florida? 02:36

HOLLYWOOD - Like most teenagers, Thomas Palencia doesn't go anywhere without his cell phone

He says he's on it at least four hours a day. 

"I use it for social media, talk to my friends, call my parents," he says. 

Under a new Florida law, cell phones aren't supposed to be out when a teacher is doing a lesson, but it varies from classroom to classroom and school to school. 

Palencia says at his school, kids are supposed to keep their phones in their backpacks, but he admits many have them in their pockets. 

Other South Florida public school students say some teachers prohibit cell phone use in the classroom while others tolerate it.

With the Los Angeles Public School District, the second largest in the country, looking at totally banning cell phones during the school day, CBS Miami wanted to see whether there was support for a similar ban in South Florida. 

Broward School Board member Torey Alston said he favors a total ban.

"Research shows excessive use is bad for mental health and instruction so I support a ban."

Broward Board member Debbi Hixon, whose husband was killed in the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shooting, where communication was vital, favors refining procedures so there's more consistency classroom to classroom-to-classroom.

"How are we enforcing to help teachers? The idea of putting it all on them is not okay with me."

In Miami-Dade, the School Board is looking at refining cell phone use rules.

The head of the teachers' union says it should be a measured approach.

"I think more research needs to be done and we need parents involved." 

 As for Palencia, he says he needs his phone nearby during the school day. 

"When there's a lockdown I need to be able to reach my parents." 

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