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Should Baltimore City Schools ban cellphones?

Could your driver’s license or passport be stored on your cellphone?
Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 04, 2024

BALTIMORE — That’s the question the Parent and Community Advisory Board (PCAB) for the school system is asking.

PCAB has a survey on its website that parents, staff and the community can take. It will be up through the end of the school year. The feedback they receive will be forwarded to BCPSS CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises.

At PCAB’s virtual public meeting last month, Santelises was asked how she felt about a cellphone ban for city schools.

“I am a huge proponent of banning cellphone use during the school day, particularly for grades K through 8,” Santelises said. “We are seeing across the country that schools and school districts, particularly in grades K through 8, who limit cellphone use actually see a decrease in this area and an increase in positive outcomes.”

Three city schools have banned cellphones during the school day. That includes Hampstead Hill Academy in Federal Hill. Students there lock their phones in pouches when they arrive to school and keep the pouches on them until the end of the school day. Learn more about what Hampstead Hill Academy is doing here.

“When they banned cellphone use during the day, they had less fights, certainly less cyberbullying, and more focused and attentive young people,” Santelises said.