Middletown bans cellphones from schools after violent year for kids nationwide

Middletown is taking a no-nonsense approach this fall after an increasingly violent and disruptive year for kids in school.  
News 12 reported on the disturbing, nationwide trend of social media challenges and fights often seen on student cellphone videos and shared to social media. 
Middletown is now banning cellphones from schools for the 2022-2023 year.  
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Robin Colner, an educator and social media expert. 
Colner says cellphones and social media are a major distraction for kids and, in some cases, fuel negative social-emotional behaviors. 
“There’s a tremendous premium put on shock value and therefore a sense of high,” said Colner. “Young people will try to do some outrageous things and film them.” 
The Middletown school district says there’s several reasons for the ban, which impacts all K-12 school campuses. 
Superintendent Amy Creeden tells News 12, “We are focusing on supporting our scholars with both their academics as well as social emotional skills, and we feel we can do this best when our young people are focused and engaged. Cell phones are a distraction when doing this incredibly important work." 
Since News 12 first reported the story Monday, reaction from viewers has poured in on Facebook. 
The district says cellphones must be kept in backpacks and can only be used before and after school. 
The policy isn’t entirely new and most schools have similar policies in place. 
Middletown says this year, it will just be strictly enforcing it – and letting families know now so they can prepare. 
Parents will have the opportunity to talk about the cellphone policy at a meeting next Tuesday.