Letter to the editor

I wanted to respond to the article and the question that was posed by Jonathan Haidt in the May 1-7 Moorestown Sun edition on the subject of phones in the schools.

I have been a Pediatric Trauma Intensive Care nurse for many years, and concurrently also in the past seven years have been a contract substitute nurse in the schools of Burlington County. I absolutely agree with the information given in Mr. Haidt’s article about the rewiring of our children’s brains and the fragile result of this due to their connection with their phones and constant social media exposure.

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The teenagers that I care for now in the hospital are far different than the patients that I cared for three decades ago. The amount of depression and anxiety and the behavior that comes from that is so sad to see and tough to manage. We routinely have teenagers coming in with overdosing of meds due to their lives on their phones and the relationships that drive them to these sad situations. They wait in the hospital for extended periods of time on the general pediatric floors for placement since the treatment centers for school age patients are filled.

When I am working in the schools, I am amazed by the use and disruption of phones in the classrooms of students. How can teaching be accomplished when phone use is not controlled. I feel there are enough phones available by the adults in a school that it renders it unnecessary for each student to carry their own.

I know readers don’t have the privilege of seeing what I have seen in the hospital with our generation of students so that perhaps it is not possible to have as strong of an opinion which is what drives me to write a response to Mr. Haidt’s article.

Virginia Zehler



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