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Utah governor wants to ban cell phones from classrooms

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Kim Jarrett

(The Center Square) – Utah Governor Spencer Cox proposed what he called "common sense" solutions for reducing the harmful effects of social media on children. 

The first proposal is removing cell phones from classrooms.

"I'd like to see our local school districts pilot this, and I think we have a few that are, and partner on ways to explore cell phone free environments that will improve student outcomes and mental health, " Cox said Monday in an address at Bonneville Jr. High School.

The governor also proposed holding social media companies more accountable. 

"We need laws that enable parents to be more involved in setting boundaries for their children on social media," Cox said. "And we are looking at those laws right now."

Cox said the laws are "the work that Congress should be doing. I'm not convinced that Congress can do much of anything anymore."

The governor said a 2016 study from the Mayo Clinic shows that social media is causing anxiety, sleep disruption and depression. 

“Like seat belt laws and tobacco regulations enacted years ago to protect our physical health, today I’m calling on Utahns to join me in supporting some common sense solutions to protect our mental health,” Cox said. “We need parents, educators, community leaders, and lawmakers to work with us to address these critical issues.”