Saturday, February 10, 2018

Maryland House Bill 1110:

Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures - Digital Devices

UPDATE: Hearing will be held on Friday, March 2 at 1pm in the House Ways & Means Committee.  Please see THIS PAGE for testimony instructions.

Please support this important effort in the Maryland General Assembly to get classroom safety guidelines for digital devices crafted and implemented. The visual, physical and psychological risks to our children posed by the schools' devices are a statewide public health issue. This bill offers an excellent solution for protecting Maryland students and is a model for other states.

HB1110 "Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures - Digital Devices" brings the state department of education (MSDE) together with the health department (MDH) to craft classroom guidelines, based on the advice of a group of stakeholders. That group includes the teachers' union, medical experts, parent groups and child health advocates.

The bill will create a crucial framework of reference for schools, teachers, families and policy makers to ensure that uniform guidelines are in place.This is vital to the protection of Maryland students who will be using the schools' technology tools throughout their educational experience. That prolonged use - from Kindergarten to graduation - poses its own unique medical concerns.

Medical experts need to be involved in order to include clinical data, and to share vital updated information statewide as new research becomes available. Uniform standards will guarantee that all Maryland children are equally protected from the hazards of their school devices regardless of where they live, and that all school communities are benefiting from the latest medical research. 

We have a great deal of momentum already. The bill has 31 co-sponsors, representing broad bi-partisan support statewide and growing national support. We owe Delegate Steve Arentz a huge thank you for sponsoring the bill again. Updates and new research are posted on the Twitter account: @screensandkids. You don't have to be on Twitter to look at the feed; just go to the page, and you can click on the latest news.

The bill will be heard in the House Ways & Means Committee; a hearing date is expected to be announced this week. I hope you'll lend your voices to get this done this year. Please call your representatives, those who have co-sponsored, and those who are on the Committee to show your support.

Let's go save some kids.


Cindy Eckard