Monday, January 21, 2019

Headmaster Letter

Dear North Phoenix Prep Families,

"The distractions of the digital era are upon us," Eva Moskowitz declares in a recent article.  Moskowitz is CEO and Founder of Success Academy charter schools, which serves many low-income families in New York.  She describes not only the educational and social-emotional problems that arise from prolonged exposure to screens, but also the disproportionate effect that screens have upon the poor.  Citing the most recent concerns expressed in a New York Times article, she points out that low-income children "spend two hours more on screens each day than those from affluent backgrounds."  Screen time, it would seem, is becoming America's next fast food.

At North Phoenix Prep, we have faced the challenge of screen addiction head-on from the very beginning.  Cell phones and personal technology has been and will continue to be restricted on our campus.  That's because we care deeply about keeping our students mentally and emotionally present for learning.  Furthermore, we believe that our duty to properly form young souls requires us to place restrictions on technology's use.  This wisdom is as old as the Greeks, for whom the deity of technology (Hephaistos) was called "the god who limps."  This notion that technology is somehow misshapen, and that it somehow mis-shapes us, has turned out to be a keen insight that modern science has repeatedly confirmed.

I urge each of you to read the articles linked above, and to do some of your own research on the effects of screen time.  This is an issue that deserves our attentiveness as stewards of the next generation.

With Devotion,
Headmaster Weinhold