Fairborn high school, middle school become latest to use phone pouches

Credit: Marshall Gorby

Credit: Marshall Gorby

In the upcoming school year, Fairborn will be the latest school district to require middle and high schoolers to put their phones in Yondr pouches, which lock cell phones in a central location during the school day.

Teachers and administrators across the region say cell phones going off in class is distracting to students, but some schools use cell phones or other technology in the classroom to engage students.

“The district decided to use the pouches at the secondary levels because students are on cell phones during class impacting instructional time and also distracted during school hours with social media and other issues during school time,” said Pam Gayheart, spokeswoman for Fairborn Schools.

Fairborn schools said in a letter to parents that when students have access to cell phones during lunch and between classes, it contributes to negative social media interaction among students. The district said that has, “led to physical conflict and in some cases emotional distress.”

The district said they hope to limit the negative effects of phone use during class time and reduce negative student interactions by limiting phone use during the school day.

Amy Gayheart, assistant superintendent, said the cost for the district was roughly $37,000 for one year.

Fairborn schools said in the event of an emergency, school staff will direct students according to emergency management protocols.

“Cell phone use during crisis management can overload our communication systems and can and have spread misinformation during the situation,” the letter said.

Families can contact their student through the front office and via school email during the school day, according to the letter.

Dayton Public Schools has used the pouches for several years at the middle school level and began using Yondr at the high school level this past school year.

The pouches are a more extreme measure than some other districts take. Other school districts won’t take the phones into a pouch but do require students to leave their cell phones in lockers.

Springboro, for example, requires students to keep their phones in lockers during the school day.

“Students in violation of this expectation will have their device confiscated and sent to the Assistant Principals Office,” the handbook says. “Student devices will be returned to the student or parent/guardian at the end of the day. Student will receive a consequence for the offense.”

But at Centerville High School, teachers will allow some students to use phones during class for teaching, but phones are otherwise required to be turned off and in lockers or backpacks.

About the Author