Proposed Bill Would Ban Cellphone Use For Anyone Under 21

Misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail, $1000 fine or both

A bill introduced in the Vermont Senate would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use or possess a cellphone in the state.

What We Know:

  • The bill, S212 sponsored by Democratic Sen. John Rodgers, would make possession or use of a cellphone a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of a year behind bars or a $1000 fine or both.
  • The bill reads, “The internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists”. Rodgers also links cellphone use by people under the age of 21 to a rise in driving fatalities, suicides, and mass shootings.
  • Rodgers explained to CNN “I’m not going to push for the bill to pass, I wouldn’t vote for the thing”. The Democrat advised that he’s really just trying to start a conversation about cellphone safety and overall rights for young adults.
  • Executive Director of the children’s advocacy nonprofit Voices For Vermont’s Children, Michelle Faye, criticized the bill as a “hollow diversion” from pressing issues. Faye doesn’t believe that a ban on cellphones would make sense because teens would still have access to computers.

Rodgers said he’s a supporter of the Second Amendment and filed the bill to make a point, saying “cellphones are just as dangerous as guns”.

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Dominique Browder is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.

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