Grace Abbott Elementary
NEWS FROM DR. CHAUSSEE
Cell Phones, Mental Health and Kids
Earlier this week, the US Surgeon General authored a report warning of the negative effects of technology on youths. He said they face “devastating mental health effects as a result of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic.”
If your child doesn’t have a smartphone or use the Internet you can stop reading now. But, if you’re like most parents, either your child does have one, or will have one in the near future. A few years ago no child at the school had a smartphone. Some parents have felt that it is convenient for their child to be able to communicate via a cell phone for transportation reasons and I understand that. With the proliferation of smart phones in elementary schools there have been increasing problems-cyber bullying as an example. As the principal I deal frequently with issues with students using phones and other devices inappropriately, mainly at home, not at school as we limit their use here. It’s frustrating as the school is increasingly asked to step in and solve these issues and, more importantly, to see how many children are severely hurt by what others say through texts, Instagram, etc. As a parent of four children, I’ve seen it all. When my older kids were in school they didn’t have cell phones until high school and they weren’t smart phones.
As I’ve stated previously, students should NOT be contacting their parents about leaving school. All students who don’t feel well need to come to the health office. We will make the determination about going home or not.
Here are some easy steps to take:
· Set an age in which your child will have a phone.
· Buy a flip phone and not a smart phone (yes, they still exist).
· Set limits.
· Have your child turn it in at night.
· Know your child’s passwords/codes.
I feel that as parents we can do better than this.
WATCH D.O.G.S. SIGN UP
We are excited to invite our Watch DOGS (Dad of Great Students) back into the building this year! If you would like to volunteer for either a full day, or over our lunch times, please complete the Watch DOG sign up. You can email Debby Powell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Charlene Hale (email@example.com) with any questions.