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MA school locks students' cell phones in pouches

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Posted at 10:10 AM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 05:31:05-05

ROCHESTER, MA (WCVB/CNN) - At dismissal time at City on a Hill Circuit Street Charter Public School in Roxbury, MA, each student has their Yondr pouch unlocked.

Each morning when the students arrive, they turn off their phone, put them in the pouch and they’re locked up for the day.

Principal DeOtis Williams, Jr. started the program at the beginning of the school year.

“We noticed in previous years there’s been an increase in cell phone use in students consistently in school, whether it’s cyberbullying, whether it’s using the cell phone in class under the table. They’re just being more engaged in the cell phone than they are in the present moment,” Williams explained.

Spanish teacher Erica O’Mahony is a big fan and has noticed a huge difference in her students since the program was put in place.

“I’ve had fewer problems losing students to their phones, texts, whatever,” she said.

When the phone goes into the pouch, students can’t text their friends, they can’t call their friends, they can’t use social media. They actually have to talk to one another.

“We showed the parents the program during our parent/guardian night. Some parents asked, ‘How do we get this for our house,’” Williams said.

Copyright 2018 WCVB via CNN. All rights reserved.