(Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District approved an all-day ban on cellphones, saying the devices distract children from learning, erode mental health and stifle personal connections.

The 400,000-student district, the nation’s second-biggest school system, said it will study ways to implement the program when it takes effect in January, including whether to force students to store cellphones in locked pouches or special lockers.

The resolution approved Tuesday cited a body of research that highlighted the detrimental effects of cellphone use by young people, including surveys by Common Sense Media that showed that half of all teens reported feeling “addicted” to their phones and another that indicated 97% of kids age 11 to 17 used their phones during the school day.

“Kids no longer have the opportunity to just be kids,” board member Nick Melvoin, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement. 

Under current policy in Los Angeles, students are prohibited from using their cellphones during class hours but allowed to access them during lunch or nutrition breaks. 

School administrators across the US are grappling with how to handle widespread smartphone use by kids. About 70% of high school teachers say that students being distracted by cellphones is a major problem in their classrooms, according to the Pew Research Center.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul said she also plans to propose a measure to ban smartphones in schools during the 2025 legislative session. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he will work with the legislature to limit smartphone use during school hours across the state’s schools. “When children and teens are in school, they should be focused on their studies — not their screens,” he said in a statement.

(Updates with California governor statement in penultimate paragraph.)

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