Fairborn schools implementing phone lock system next year


FAIRBORN — Fairborn city schools will be locking up some students’ cell phones during class next year.

Beginning in the fall, Baker Middle School and Fairborn High School will be introducing a new phone use policy that includes locking cell phones in pouches throughout the day.

The reason for this restriction, according to a recent news article on the district website, is to encourage attentiveness and engagement with classes. They also point to emotional distress that can occur following negative interactions over social media that results to in-class distractions.

Yondr, the phone case company Fairborn schools are using, has been used in the past for musical and comedy shows, as well as a few schools across the U.S. including in Akron.

According to the schools, each day upon arrival students will turn off their phone and place them in a Yondr pouch and an unlocking station, which will be placed in key locations around the schools.

Students may carry their pouch around with them or store it in a locker, but the phone will be unusable until unlocked. Staff will also check daily to make sure students have locked their phone away each day.

With the Yondr pouch and the new schools’ policy, students may not access their phone during school hours until they are leaving campus for the day. Under these guidelines, parents can only reach their children by first contacting the main office of the school or sending an email to the Chromebook each student is assigned to.

So far, the district is still in the process of putting together the exact policy, according to Director of Public Relations Pam Gayheart. Gayheart said no exceptions have been outlined so far, and while there may be some, it’s not likely parents will have much of a say on whether their child can have their phone in school or not.

“At the middle and high school level, we have data that shows that phones are being used during instructional time,” said Gayheart. She added that allowing for too many exceptions for students “would defeat the purpose.”

“There’s been a lot of push-back,” she said. “There’s a few parents on social media upset about the policy.”

Although the district did not post about the new rules on social media, parents of middle and high school students did receive an email on the update.

Regardless of the push-back, Gayheart said they are enforcing the new policy as an attempt to keep students occupied with their studies and reduce conflict in school halls between classes.

Contact Ethan Charles at 937-502-4532.

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