Online petition asks APS to end iPad program


An online petition has recently appeared calling for the Arlington Public Schools (APS) K-5 1:1 iPad program to be shut down immediately. The petition has more than 250 supporters as of Thursday morning.

The starters of the petition cite their reasons: “The 1:1/Digital Learning/Personalized programs, which put a personal iPad in the hand of elementary school children, over the past three years has not only cost millions for devices, staffing and infrastructure, but it has put children into a social experiment that is likely to harm their physical and social-emotional well-being.”

The petition asks for the option to allow parents to opt-out of the program if they wish and also wants APS to send out warning letters to those still with the program to, “…explicitly list the potential risks of iPad usage not limited to attention issues, screen addiction, blue light effects on eyesight, Wi-Fi radiation and effects on reading acquisition.”

The petition has not been welcomed entirely with open arms, however. Some parents are against the idea of the program’s removal. Most of them are questioning the scientific proof of the warnings listed in the petition, with others citing that they think the iPads are beneficial devices which help their children immensely throughout their school days.

Parents of children with learning disabilities have also noted the usefulness of the program, and gifted students are apparently benefiting, too. The iPads, an anonymous commenter said on ARLnow, “are essential knowledge for children nowadays, as they need to learn how to use them one way or another.”

“How do you expect your kids to be exposed to digital world and be prepared how to handle it when they are out of your wings,” a parent said in a reply post regarding iPad usage in APS schools, also on ARLnow. “While I’m against screen time for my kids 24/7, some exposure is pretty useful if we want to keep up with the rest of the world.”