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Horne agrees with U.S. surgeon general's call for social media warning labels

Tom Horne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Tom Horne

This week, the U.S. surgeon general called for a warning label – similar to that of tobacco – alerting to the effect of social media on adolescent mental health. A warning label would require congressional action.

Arizona’s top schools chief said he would support such a move.

The topic is not new to Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. He issued an advisory last year on the link between social media use and poor public health.

Critics say a warning label would go too far, but Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne says it could be beneficial.

“I think the surgeon general has made an important point and hopefully it will help us to try to get some control over this terrible problem," Horne said. "Cellphones have a lot of valuable purposes, but they can also be extremely destructive to the mental health of students, and we got to get some control over it."

Cellphones in schools became the target of concern in California this week, too, as the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted to ban student phone use in most cases.

Horne says a bill that would have a similar effect in Arizona was recently vetoed by Gov. Katie Hobbs.

“The number of hours they are on the cellphones needs to be limited," Horne said.

In a veto letter, Hobbs said school districts were already addressing the issue.

News Education
Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.
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