Headline RoundupJune 19th, 2024

Newsom and DeSantis Agree on Restricting Smartphones From Schools

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Two governors often emblematic of the divide between red and blue states are now on the same side of an issue: legally restricting smartphones in schools.

The Details: In 2023, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a first-in-the-nation law banning smartphone use by students during class time and curtailing the use of the social media app TikTok on school grounds. On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) told Politico (Lean Left bias): “Building on legislation I signed in 2019, I look forward to working with the Legislature to restrict the use of smartphones during the school day. When children and teens are in school, they should be focused on their studies — not their screens.” In 2019, Newsom signed a law encouraging, but not requiring, schools to limit students’ smartphone use during school hours. 

For Context: Newsom and DeSantis have publicly feuded over their governing styles. However, bipartisan awareness has grown of the impact of smartphones and social media on teens’ mental health. In 2023, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared a public health epidemic of loneliness; on Monday, he called on Congress to require social media apps to include warning labels, similar to those on tobacco products. 

How the Media Covered It: A handful of outlets across the spectrum highlighted the apparent agreement between the two governors. However, some on the political right framed DeSantis as winning an “argument” and said Newsom was “copying Florida.” Despite its conservative alignment, the Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) undercut this narrative, pointing out that California’s previous law “came four years before Florida’s.”

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