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BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A high school in Bethlehem Township has come up with a creative way to curb students using their cellphones during the school day.
LehighValleyLive.com reports the 500 students at Notre Dame High School store their phones in a locked pouch during the school day.
Assistant principal Jaclyn Friel says she implemented Yondr – a company that provides neoprene pouches that lock with a pin and can only be opened with a magnetic device – when she returned from maternity leave in January because staff asked her to do something about students and their cellphones because the situation had “gotten so out of control.”
“We’re seeing a lot more interaction in the building,” Friel told LehighValleyLive.com. “Students are interacting with each other, with their teachers. In the past, students are sitting in the cafeteria next to each other, not speaking. Now, they’re talking.”
Students told LehighValleyLive.com that they are able to pay attention in class more and are talking to their classmates more during lunch instead of looking down at their phones.
“It’s second nature now,” said Christelle Joseph, a 17-year-old senior on the cheerleading squad. “It’s easier to focus, especially at the end of the day. And we don’t use our phones during practice anyway, so what’s another two hours?”
“It’s hard at first,” said 18-year-old Cole DeFranco. “You’re going to lose your phone for the whole day, but it’s not as bad as some people say. It helps you at the end of the day do better.”
The school spent $8,000 on the pouches and will continue to evaluate the program.
“I told the kids at the beginning that I know they’re not crazy about this,” Friel told LehighValleyLive.com. “It’s not just you guys. We’re all addicted to our phones.”