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California Closer To Banning Public And Charter School Students From Using Smartphones At School

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - California is one step closer to banning public and charter school students from using smartphones at school, except under certain circumstances.

The Senate Education Committee unanimously passed Assembly Bill 272.

The proposed law asks that all school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools come up with smartphone policies to limit or prohibit student use at school. The bill does allow for certain allowances, including:

  • In the case of an emergency, or in response to a perceived threat of danger.
  • When a teacher or administrator of the school district, county office of education, or charter school grants permission to a pupil to possess or use a smartphone, subject to any reasonable limitation imposed by that teacher or administrator.
  • When a licensed physician or surgeon determines that the possession or use of a smartphone is necessary for the health or well-being of the pupil.
  • When the possession or use of a smartphone is required by a pupil's individualized education program.

ALSO: Even Tech Execs Fret About Their Kids' Smartphone Addictions

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."

According to the bill analysis,

"A 2015 Discussion Paper from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Center for Economic Performance, "Ill Communication: Technology, Distraction and Student Performance" studied four English city school systems that had banned cell phone use in schools in 2013. The authors of the paper found that student test scores improved by 6.41% of a standard deviation when schools banned cell phone use. The effect was driven by the most disadvantaged and underachieving pupils. The results suggest that low-achieving students are more likely to be distracted by the presence of mobile phones, while high achievers can focus in the classroom regardless of the mobile phone policy."

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

AB 272 passed the full Assembly in May.

Swipe for weird California laws still on the books. 

Watch Your Roosters
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Let Cowboys Be Cowboys
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No Cursing On The Course
Talk about a golf handicap. In Long Beach, according to, you are not allowed to curse or use foul language while playing miniature golf. Apparently, it's okay to curse like a sailor while playing badminton or tennis. But curse while playing some #$%* miniature golf and find your #$%**#$ in hot water.
No Nukes In Chino
Note to terrorists! Don't go to Chino: detonating a nuclear device of any kind, within the city limits, will get you a $500 fine. (credit: AP)
Peacocks Have The Right Of Way
You drivers better slow down in Arcadia! According to, peacocks there always have the right of way. (credit: CBS)
Pick Up That Dog Poo!
Scooby Doo! According to, if you leave dog waste in your yard for more than seven days in Cerritos, you can be cited. Of course, we want to know how anyone knows what dog doo looks like on the eighth day? And, more interestingly, whose job is it to decide? (credit: K'shel Bell)
Prostitutes Don't Make Change
In San Francisco, hookers are not required to carry bills on their person larger than $50 in order to make change. (credit: AP)
Rhino's Can't Get Horny
Horny? Don't be a rhino in California! According to a website that specializes in strange facts about sex, all animals are banned in the Golden State from mating within 1500 feet of a place of worship, school or tavern. Presumably they CAN drink at the tavern but they can't get busy near the tavern. Ah, and speaking of rhinos, if you want to own one in Norco, you have to pony up $100 for the privilege. (credit: L.A. Zoo)
Slow It Down In Glendale
You'll never be able to see the Glendale 500 at this rate. Indianapolis has nothing to worry about. It is illegal for someone in Glendale to jump into a moving or passing car. And according to, it is also illegal to go in reverse. (credit: CBS)
Leave The Lizards Alone
Lizards don't have a lot of rights, but in Fresno they enjoy major protection. Lizards cannot be annoyed while in city parks. So if you're in the park minding your own business, and some lizard sits down with his boom box and starts blasting his music, the cops will take his side. (credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Keep The Pooch Off The Elevator
Dogs in wheelchairs are not as uncommon as you think. Many dogs are old, arthritic, and have hip problems. But you don't want to bring an infirmed dog to Glendale. According to, dogs are not allowed on elevators. So Bowser, get to stepping! (iStock)
Dogs Can't Get Frisky
Don't let Fido get frisky in Ventura County. He or she will get busted. Dogs and cats need a permit to, uh, get animal. (credit: CBS)
Do Not Lick A Toad
Like it or not, it's the law. You cannot (underscore cannot) lick a toad anywhere in Los Angeles. And this is even if the toad is consenting and over 18. (credit: Frogwatch (North) via Getty Images)
Don't Belt Your Wife
Stay belted! Hard to believe, but it's allegedly legal for a man to beat his wife in Los Angeles if he uses a belt less than 2 inches wide, and if she gives her consent. (credit: AP)
Don't Flip Your Lid
Apparently they're trying to keep the lid on pollution in Dana Point. You can use your restroom, but close the window or else! (credit: AP)
Don't Kiss A Man With A Moustache
Who wouldn't want to be kissed by mega hunk Tom Selleck? Well, if you live in Eureka watch those lips! Men with moustaches are simply not allowed to plant a wet one on a woman in Eureka. (credit: CBS)
Don't ZZZZzzzz In The Car
In Cathedral City, it's illegal to sleep in a parked car. (credit: CBS)
Drop The Fish In Portola
Man walks into a bar. He says, "Hi, do you serve fish here?' and the bartender says 'Sure, sit down. We'll serve anyone.'" As funny as that joke isn't (sorry!), the truth is, it's against the law to walk into a bar in Portola carrying a fish. (credit: AP)
Hide Those Buttocks!
And you wonder why J-Lo doesn't do concerts in Hermosa Beach. It is illegal to show your buttocks on a playground in that city. (credit: CBS)
Ugly People Stay Home
Ha! And they say people in LA can be shallow and obsessed with looks! In San Francisco, it is actually illegal for ugly people to walk down the street. (credit:
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