Screenagers documentary aids North Penn parents

TOWAMENCIN– Teenagers are exposed to technology daily and have the internet at the touch of their fingertips. Although technology opens more opportunities for communication, negative effects can be seen in the addiction teenagers develop to their phones. To combat this problem, North Penn presented a viewing of the documentary Screenagers on Monday night to help parents learn more about raising children during the height of the digital age.

The documentary focused on a variety of topics like excessive cellphone use and how it affects all aspects of a teenager’s life. Schools across the nation have witnessed firsthand how cellphones affect the ability for students to focus and learn in the classroom.

“About a year ago during an in-service day, some of the teachers talked about cell phone policies for here and what is best for kids. We mentioned this documentary and I got a grant from the North Penn Educational Foundation to show it. After two snow delays and cancellations, we were finally able to show it,” explained guidance counselor Samuel Feeney.

The documentary primarily focuses on how to guide parents on the struggles they face while raising children with phones. Excessive phone use can lead to an addiction, causing sleep deprivation and low grades. Parents navigating their way through these issues, while also trying to give their kids freedom has sparked a storm of conversation about how involved parents should be with kids and their cell phones. Some parents have found that a mutual agreement that sets boundaries for kids is the best method.

“The purpose is to [get] some thought process and introspection for parents and exposure to the topic for parents who haven’t dealt with [kids and cell phones,]” added Feeney.

Teachers featured in the documentary also shared their different strategies on dealing with phones during school. Schools across the nation are conflicted on whether to allow students to use their phone during class or completely ban all phones during school hours. High school students are responsible for their education. If a student chooses to waste learning time by being distracted on their phones, then it is his or her decision. Phones lead to students taking hours to complete homework, causing both schools and parents to consider taking action.

North Penn High School was able to present the film with help from the North Penn Educational Foundation, which provides funds for innovative learning projects and learning experiences.

“North Penn Educational Foundation is great. Every six months or so, we put out a request for grants if [we] have something innovative for the classroom or to try a new project…The North Penn Educational Foundation [includes] North Penn staff and a lot of community members that want to compliment what we already do here,” said Fenney

North Penn administration hopes that the information presented from the documentary will help both parents and children. Having rules about how much kids can use their cellphones can help promote healthy social and academic habits.