Schools crack down on cell phone use

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Schools are finding creative ways to stop students from using their cellphones during the day, fueling debates about the effectiveness and wisdom of such bans.

Some schools have partnered with companies to implement the use of pouches that students are required to put their phones into at the beginning of the day and that don’t unlock until the final bell rings, while others are threatening punishments including suspension if a student is caught with their phone, even at lunch time.

Educators appear ecstatic about getting students off their phones during class, but there are lingering concerns from both parents and children about being phoneless in emergency situations and if this is the best way to address the problem.

Renesha Parks, chief wellness officer at Richmond Public Schools in Virginia, told The Hill of a pilot policy being implemented in six schools at the beginning of 2024 to stop cellphone usage, partnering with Yondr, which creates magnetic pouches for cellphones. The measure will impact around 4,200 students and cost approximately $75,000.

“It’s a very costly initiative. But we do feel like it will decrease the amount of infractions that are happening as a result of student’s cellphone use and increase productivity and academic instruction in the classroom. It’s worth the investment,” Parks said.

While she said educators in the district were thrilled with the idea, the support for it is split among parents and students.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!