Maryland lawmakers are prepared to be the first in the nation to act to protect school children from overuse of screen technologies. Can you contact key lawmakers to voice your support?
House Bill 866/Senate Bill 1089 would require the Maryland department of health to develop and implement health and safety guidelines and procedures for the use of digital devices in public school classrooms. Given the documented health risks for children, it is critical that schools have age-appropriate guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools.
Below are instructions for emailing Anne Kaiser, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Joan Carter Conway, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs. Be sure to copy the bill’s sponsors, Representative Steven Arentz and Senator Steve Hershey. Please also copy Cindy Eckard, a Maryland parent who is organizing support for the bills.
Approving this measure would be a huge step to protect Maryland kids, and could inspire a movement to institute similar protections around the country. Please help make this happen by contacting your legislators TODAY to convey your support for these bills!
Subject: Support for HB 866 / SB 1089
Digital technologies, when used in age-appropriate and thoughtful ways, can enhance education. However, the rush to incorporate individual digital devices into classrooms has not been accompanied by a careful consideration of the impact of excessive screen use by children.
Research demonstrates that excessive screen time is linked to a host of negative outcomes for children, including: attention and hyperactivity disorders and social-emotional problems; sleep disturbances and irregular sleep patterns; vision problems, including myopia and dry eye syndrome; and digital addiction.
Given the documented health risks for children, it is critical that medical professionals develop clear, research-based, age-appropriate guidelines for the use of digital devices in schools. Medical oversight will ensure that schools use technology in ways that enhance children’s education without undermining their physical and emotional wellbeing.
I urge you to ensure safe learning environments for children by passing House Bill 866.