Governor Cox Banning Phones? Is He Scared of Students Exposing Teachers?

Governor Cox is trying to ban cell phones for students in schools again.

Is the establishment pushing back against viral videos of teachers saying creepy things to our kids?

Does Cox care about our kids? Is he just our benevolent governor trying to protect them from social media or is there a chance he’s lying about his motives? Well, we can observe a pattern of behavior, such as when he lied about knowing what Smart Cities are to avoid accountability and honest discussion. If truth and accountability is not found in his pattern of behavior, then we ought to ask what could possibly be the motivation for Cox to want to ban all cell phones for students?

I interviewed parents and administrators who privately shared some thoughts with me.

One source said,

It sounds good on its face to limit social media, but do we really want more government intervention and to lose more freedoms? Are there other issues here? Why is this really being pushed?

Banning cell phones puts the state between the parent and child. Many parents intentionally buy these devices because they want to know if their children are safe at school, connect with anxious children or help children with medical needs. Additionally, children would no longer be able to film their teachers or film what is being taught in schools. Is this the real reason? We had a window into the classroom with online school during Covid. Is this an attempt to close the window again and keep parents out?

The general consensus was the idea that it is government overreach to further separate parents from the children.

THE LETTER

The following letter provided to Defending Utah, allegedly sent out by governor Cox to all school principals in Utah on January 5th, 2024.

School Principals,
 
Please forward the following message and attachments to your school’s community council members.

Dear School Community Council Member,

Thank you for your service to your school community. As you may know, I’m very concerned about the harmful effects of social media on our children as well as the distraction of cell phones in schools. As a result, I am asking our school communities to remove cell phones from classrooms. A similar letter is being sent to school and district leaders, but knowing your unique role in helping to educate students and families, I am inviting you to participate in a collaboration that results in cell phone-free learning environments and related resources for students and families.

Many schools in our state have already moved forward with schoolwide cell phone policies to limit student access and have shared experiences that are supported by national data too compelling to ignore. When phones are kept in backpacks or lockers, learning improves, distractions are fewer, student engagement increases and opportunities for human connection are fostered. Students across our state have told me they are worried about the effects of overuse of social media and other distracting apps on their mental health and peer relationships.

Delta High School in Millard School District is a “cell phone-free” school. Students put their phones in a clear pocket that hangs in front of the classroom. According to Assistant Principal Jared Christensen, “It was a battle to begin with, but it has been so worth it. Students and parents have all adapted, our teachers are happier and learning has increased.”

Evergreen Junior High in Granite School District does not allow cell phones to be out anytime during the school day. Students cannot use phones in classrooms, halls or lunchrooms. “It’s so much easier to just ban them altogether,” said Principal Ryan Shaw. “Learning has improved, and our scores reflect that. Bullying and fighting have decreased. The students connect with each other in a more meaningful way. We are grateful for the support we have from our community council – it’s been critical.”

One of the reasons Evergreen Junior High has been so successful with implementation of their cell phone policy is that they proactively educate parents on the benefits. We recommend you engage with parents and collaborate as you look at cell phone policies for your schools.

I will reach out in the coming months to see how implementation is going in your school, but feel free to contact my team in the meantime if you have any questions, thoughts or experiences you would like to share. Please read the additional resources and policy information shared in the attached document.

Thank you again for your attention to this matter.

Warm regards,
Gov. Cox

SOLUTIONS

Students: You have the right to stay in contact with your parents at any time. And you always have the right to record government workers and that includes teachers doing questionable things that your parents might not like.  It’s a fundamental first amendment protection.  So nullify this if it starts to happen, and claim your 1st amendment right to film.  Even though you’re not an official journalist, that protection is there for you. As long as you’re not directly interfering with the business of the school, anything in public (and these are “public” schools) is your constitutional right to record and the phone is your property that cannot be arbitrarily confiscated.

Parents: Make your voice known to your school principal and community council and whomever this applies to, and teach your children their rights.

The following tips came from one of our interviews:
1. Understand the issue properly
2. Attend SCC meetings, or reach out to SCC members, to see if the phone policy is being discussed. Some are discussing it and others are now.  Make comments at your meetings.
3. Run for your appropriate SCC yourself

 


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4 Responses

  1. You make some very good points in this article. At first glance, this sounds like a good idea, but with everything going on in the world right now and the number of videos that have come out exposing teachers, it seems very likely that this is the real agenda.

  2. In my 86 year-old, ancient and somewhat outdated head, “Social Media” and “Banning Cell Phones” should be considered two separate issues. The “Social Media” matter is highly convoluted. Are we leaving it up to Big Brother to dictate who should/could smell the roses and which roses? Are we surrendering parents’ rights and responsibilities to Big Brother to control “Social Media” content and access? What other rights in that same arena will we soon be losing?

    As for children possessing and using Cell Phones in schools, from the perspective of this retired, Utah Secondary Schools educator, it is a no brainer. The temptations for abuse by youth are far too compelling. For the young male with a cell phone in his pocket, it’s rather like his having the latest issue of Playboy’s new Bunny featured and “steaming” within his reach but taboo for a peek. For the young female, it’s rather like suspecting that her best friend just texted her and she can’t answer.

    I’m concerned that if Lil’ Coxy wants to start tweaking with Social Media, it’s like letting the ole’ camel get its nose too far under the tent. Let him loose and Lil’ Coxy will be all the way into and messing with a lot of other “stuff” that isn’t his but is our business.

    But as for banning children’s cell phones from schools and classrooms, well that just might be one of very few things Coxy ever gets right … for what reasons we don’t know but should always suspect.

    My ancient and outdated reaction is that as a teacher, imagine delivering subject matter to a classroom full (25-40 or more) of hormones perpetually in motion like “quarks” while several are compulsively sneaking a “peek” at “stuff,” texting, or playing games. No matter how captivating the subject matter, delivery, and beloved the educator there are always youth who could care less. What distraction is to be next after cell phones?

    Just my take on it. s/Wayne L. Wickizer, aka The Ole’ Buzzard 385 239 8326 justice@utahwtp.com

  3. There are perfectly suitable non-surveillance … cough … “smart” phones available even in 2024. You can even get them unlocked from eBay for cheap. You’ll be doing your kids a favor in many ways.

    The fact that Cox et al don’t make the distinction is proof enough in my book of their disingenuous ulterior motives. Our local elementary principal canceled a program to have vetted dad’s walking the hallways during an uptick in called-in threats and post-COVID. The reason given was “lack of funding”. The gov schools are not to be trusted with the safety and well-being of your children nor, increasingly, with their base responsibility to teach them the basics R’s. To those who say you should home school, yes, you should. But that’s not enough. Your children and grandchildren will still have to live in communities with other folks “educated” by gov schools. Home school **and** run for leadership positions in the gov schools. Stop thinking defensively and start thinking offensively. Take back the schools even if you don’t participate in them. You are paying the property taxes regardless.

    If Cox bans even normal phones (aka not smart phones) I will personally make it my mission to make sure that children and parents are stocked with and trained on handheld CB radios or some other form of RF communication. The second course in that series will be a “Beginning homeschooling” course and the third course will be “Taking back your local school board”.

  4. If the motivation was truly social media, there wouldn’t be any Chrome or other computers or internet access in schools. Cox in so transparent it hurts.

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