Colorado dad gives sons smartphones, regrets it, now wants to ban preteen use

Colorado dad gives sons smartphones, regrets it, now wants to ban preteen use

by Beth Mole

Ars Technica / 2017-06-20 16:29

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Last year, Colorado father-of-five Tim Farnum gave his two youngest sons smartphones—and immediately regretted it. But he didn’t just take the phones away; he took the extra steps of forming a nonprofit called “Parents Against Underage Smartphones,” or PAUS, and drafted the nation’s first proposed measure that would ban smartphone use among preteens.

The proposed measure, ballot initiative No. 29, would make it illegal in Colorado for mobile-phone retailers to sell smartphones to children under the age of 13 or to any person who intends to provide the phone (wholly or partially) to someone under the age of 13. Phone retailers would have to submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue showing compliance. Those who fail to adhere would face a warning, then a $500 fine, if the proposal passes.

The proposed ballot measure’s language has been approved by state officials, but PAUS will have to get more than 100,000 signatures to get No. 29 on the ballot in the fall of 2018.

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