Page Nav



Classic Header


Breaking News:


EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Sanders Launches Push For Cell Phone-Free Schools In Arkansas

  Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders rolled out a proposal on Tuesday to incentivize schools in the state to ban cell phones from the classroom...

 Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders rolled out a proposal on Tuesday to incentivize schools in the state to ban cell phones from the classroom, according to a letter sent to schools across the state obtained by The Daily Wire.

The idea is to improve students’ mental health by separating them from their phones, temporarily removing any anxiety their phones cause, encouraging in-person social interaction with friends, and fostering a better learning environment. “The program will address the symptoms of youth mental illness as well as one of its largest causes: screen addiction and social media,” Sanders said.

The grant program will cover the cost of putting a cell phone ban into place, providing schools with secure pouches for students to store their phones during the school day. All Arkansas school districts are invited to join the pilot program, the governor and Arkansas Secretary of Education Jacob Oliva wrote in a letter to school superintendents.

We have made this a priority in our Administration, and we are committing state resources to help with this crisis,” Sanders and Olive said. “To that end, we are excited to announce a pilot program focused on two key priorities: restricting in-school phone use and mental healthcare. We invite your district to join this statewide effort.” 

Sanders notes that youth depression, anxiety, and isolation have risen across the country, and that the average American teen now spends nearly five hours a day on social media, often while in school. Meanwhile, the teen suicide rate has spiked since smartphones became widespread, as has self-harm among girls especially. Teen math, reading, and science scores have dropped across the country.

“That’s five hours a day not with friends, not outside, and not learning,” Sanders said in a video announcing the program. “The facts are grim, but there are things we can do to help.”

“Big Tech created an addicting product and marketed it to the most impressionable population out there, our kids,” she said.

Sanders has emphasized education during her administration, saying she hopes to be known as the “Education Governor.” She successfully pushed Arkansas’ legislature to pass a universal school choice bill that also removed obscene sexual materials and critical race theory from classrooms, established new education standards, and raised teacher pay.

Sanders also led Arkansas in passing a law requiring minors to get parental permission to sign up for a social media account, although that law was blocked by a federal judge.

Public schools that participate in Arkansas’ new program will be rewarded with additional funding, including extra funding for telehealth mental health services. They will also get extra support in navigating mental and behavioral health care, substance abuse care, and social services for students, families, and school employees, as well as help with navigating insurance.

Last month, Sanders and the state education secretary met with several Arkansas superintendents and took their recommendations into account when crafting the program, the governor’s office said. The grant program will be available for schools next academic year.

No comments