Petition to ban smartphone sales for pre-teens due Aug. 6, parents react

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-22 01:11:05-04

Parents in this fast-paced and high-tech environment are faced with the dilemma of when to get their kids a smartphone.

"I’m definitely trying my best to hold off as far as getting his first phone," said Jeannete Lara about her 9-year-old son Andrew.

The age is something parents differ on and kids try to negotiate.

 "I’m aiming for like 12 but he’s probably going to talk me into sooner than that," Lara added.

"At the very earliest, like middle school," said Nate Searing. 
In that moment, 7-year-old Tegan Searing shouted, "daddy, I want a phone!"

But one group says age 13 should be the cutoff.

Parents Against Underage Smartphones drafted a petition to get a smartphone ban for pre-teens placed on the 2018 statewide November ballot.

The ban claims smartphones are addictive and harmful.

"Psychological, social but also on the physical level in the developmental stages, they’re having a lot of problems," said Dr. Tim Farnum.

So would kids be willing to wait until they turn 13?

"Maybe," said Andrew.

"Six more years is a long time," said Tegan.

After all, playtime on the screen can be hard to resist.

"I’ll mostly use it for games," said Andrew.
"Because I want to have, like games," said Tegan.

And even though kids have their stance and this petition presents another, parents agree, at the end of the day, it should be their call.

"I think that’s my choice to make for him versus there being, like, a rule," added mother Jeannete.

"It’s not something I would do but I can’t see why it would need to be against the law," said Nate.

News 5  reached out to Parents Against Underage Smartphones on Saturday to ask about the status of the proposal, they have not returned our calls.
The proposal needs exactly 98,492 signatures by August 6 to make it onto the ballot.
We’ll continue to follow it as it makes its way through the legislature and keep you updated on what happens next.