RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond school leaders say the use of technology in the classroom could lead to violence among students, sparking discussions about restrictions on cellphone use in schools.
At Monday night’s school board meeting, Jonathan Young said research found by a committee on the use of technology in schools will be discussed.
The Digital Task Force — a committee of teachers, staff, students and parents — used search engine software to find 4,400 threats made online by students over the last school year. Of those threats, about 3,500 were violent, Yang said.
According to the committee’s findings, most threats occurred among middle and high school students.
The threats are made using multiple social media platforms and devices in and out of the classroom, Yang said.
Given the committee’s findings, Young told 8News he hopes to eventually propose a mobile phone ban, similar to the one implemented at Hopewell Public Schools this year.
“At the moment we are lost. We are confused. We are broken and unfortunately our students are on the front lines,” he said.
Richmond Public Schools conducted a survey of staff for the 2021-2022 school year. The survey received 2,100 responses from faculty and staff. The results showed that 56% of teachers felt safe at school. At George Wyeth High School, responses showed that only 14 percent of teachers surveyed felt safe.
“Our teachers are screaming for help. They are asking for help with this issue. To connect all the dots, in a recent survey, very few of our teachers and students said they felt safe in the building ,” Yang said.