NYC could ban cellphones in schools by 2025, Chancellor Banks says

New York City officials say cellphone use in school has become a distraction and outright addiction. 

Last week, Los Angeles voted to ban cellphones and social media use by students during school hours. 

Now, the largest district in the nation plans to follow suit by rolling out a plan to stop phone use in school. 

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks tells Good Day that he and NYC Mayor Eric Adams will announce the official plan in the next few weeks. 

"They're not just a distraction. Kids are fully addicted now to phones," Banks said. "We're going to ban the use of phones in schools…"

Around the country, educators say students scrolling social media during class is distracting.

Banks says he's talked to hundreds of principals across the city who say "take the phones." 

NYC cellphone ban

The concept isn't new. 

Nearly two decades ago, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg implemented one of the nation's toughest phone bans that was later reversed by former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014. 

In a New York Post op-ed, Bloomberg says New York City should bring back his ban on mobile-phone use by students during school days.

"The ban was one of many policy changes that allowed us to transform the school system in ways that dramatically raised student-achievement levels," Bloomberg writes. 

He says his administration did it "despite the storm of protests it generated," and that Mayor Adams should do the same. 

Parents and caregivers, though, say they fear losing touch with their kids during emergencies such as a school shooting. 

It is unclear whether the ban would ban students from bringing phones to school entirely though. 

"We'll have the kinks worked out in the next couple of weeks," Banks says. 

NY social media ban

Last month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill to combat social media addiction in children by allowing parents to regulate their children's algorithms. 

Now, Hochul is also exploring the idea of banning cellphones in schools. 

Hochul hasn't been clear on whether she would ban phones entirely, but says she would consider a flip phone that only allows students to text. 

Chancellor Banks says the official announcement would come in the next two weeks, and go into effect as early as January 2025.