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Governor DeWine signs bill requiring Ohio schools to create cellphone policies


Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 250 at Karrer Middle School in Dublin. The new law will require every school district in Ohio to establish an official policy governing cellphone usage during school hours and seeks to minimize student use of cell phones in K-12 schools.
Sponsored by former Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville), and with the cellphone provision championed by Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware), HB 250 requires that all districts place an emphasis on limiting cellphone use and reducing cellphone-related distractions in classrooms. It also includes exceptions for students who require a cellphone to monitor a health concern or for student learning as determined by school officials.

Governor DeWine called on the Ohio General Assembly to enact legislation limiting cellphone use in schools during his State of the State Address last month, during which he also recognized the longstanding work of Lt. Governor Husted to advocate for limited cellphone usage in schools and support of parental consent requirements for children to use social media.

The bill passed unanimously in both the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives.
Several school districts around the state already have policies limiting cellphone use. In Dublin City Schools, including Karrer Middle School, students are required to have their cell phones powered off during the school day, unless they have received special permission from a teacher or administrator to use them.

As a result of the new law, the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce will soon publish a model policy regarding cell phones that schools across the state can utilize as they create their cellphone policies.

Schools will be required to adopt their cellphone policies no later than July 2025, ahead of the 2025-2026 school year.