On March 16th the Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) canceled the use of its facilities by outside organizations through April 18. On March 19th, the Sacramento County Health Officer issued an order for residents to shelter in place.
Due to the fluid nature of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and in light of these official responses, Face2Face Youth Group is hereby canceling all Teen Talk events through the end of the 2019/2020 school year.
We are contemplating alternative means to serve our community’s youth, including online activities. In the meantime, we continue to encourage families to engage in offline fun activities such as tabletop games, making treats and baked goods, reading, taking walks, and so on.
California public and charter schools can now ban students from using smartphones in class and at school, except under certain circumstances.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 272 in early July.
The new law asks all school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to come up with smartphone policies to limit or prohibit student use at school. AB 272 does allow for certain allowances, including:
Like a lot of parents, Mike Herrick occasionally sees his 13-year-old daughter getting lost in her smartphone and wonders: Is technology messing with children’s brains, even as it enlightens and empowers them in ways that weren’t possible when his generation grew up?
What sets Herrick apart is his job. He is a product and engineering executive at Urban Airship, a company in Portland, Oregon, that makes online tools that send the kind of relentless notifications that can make people act like bears near a honey pot.
The tensions between the pride Herrick takes in his profession and his parental qualms about technology tug particularly hard when he sees his daughter, Lauren, and her friends texting each other instead of talking — when they’re sitting 5 feet apart. Or when he hears a friend jokingly describe him as a “mobile arms dealer.”
Spending too much time on devices — whether it’s playing video games, watching television, searching the internet, or even engaging with “educational” apps — can be harmful to a young child’s physical and mental health. Kate Land, MD, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Vacaville Medical Center and author of the Thriving Families blog, notes that children who spend more time looking at screens are more likely to be overweight and have disrupted sleep. Read more..
The California Assembly Committee on Education passed Assembly Bill 8 (Chu) – Mental Health Services in K-12 Schools, as amended, this morning. There were four 4 aye votes. The bill is now headed to the California Assembly Committee on Health.
The Bill, which is sponsored by Mental Health America of California (MHAC), requires every K-12 school campus in the state to have mental health professionals assigned there, at a ratio of one mental health professional for every 400 students.
According to an MHAC email, the recommendation that led to this bill came directly from the California Youth Empowerment Network youth board.
“This is a direct request from young people,” the email states. “They want mental health support at school. We must step up and honor their request.”