Most schools have rules on where and when cell phones can be used during the school day, but one Albany County school district plans to have students leave them in secure bags with magnetic locks during school hours.
The Times Union says that Bethlehem Central Schools will spend close to $27,000 on ‘Yondr’ bags – which use a magnetic device to lock up the phones. Beginning this fall, each student will be assigned a bag.
Deputy Superintendent Dave Hurst said the reason comes down to social interaction:
Humans are wired for social connection. You see students sitting (at lunch) three, four to a table and they’re all on their phones and they’re not interacting whatsoever. They’ve lost that social connection.
The new policy is getting mixed reviews from parents and students, with some saying there is a benefit to having a cell phone during down times like study hall and lunch, with one student telling the Times Union:
What am I going to do in my free periods? It would make my life suck.
The results are clear at another Capital Region school district. Schoharie Superintendent David Blanchard told the Times Union there was an instant change in behavior:
It has been transformational. What we noticed right away was kids talking to each other.
Other schools in the area have cell phone policies – some require students to turn them off during classes, but most allow them to be used in free periods, lunch and between classes.
feature photo: natureaddict from Pixabay
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