This Westlake District School Requires Students to Lock Up Their Phones Before Classes Begin for the Day

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Rich checks out the accessory that keeps students from using their phones during the day at school!

These days, we’re pretty attached to our smartphones, and that means distraction with every swipe.

Now, a company named Yondr wants to do something about that. It’s making special lock pouches that render phones useless when they’re inside.

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Recently, we visited Rise Kohyang High School in the Westlake District of Los Angeles, one of the growing number of schools using the pouches. Students must lock up their phones before the day begins.

Their phones are nearby, but without access, there’s no texting, no social media and no Googling for answers.

“I think there was a lot of hesitation from the students initially. Teachers are spending a lot less time in the classroom having to redirect students having to ask students to put their phones away,” explained Cynthia Juarez, assistant principal at Rise Kohyang.

“To me, it seemed like creating phone-free places is a way to help people as we move into the digital age. Places you can go where no one can text you, no one can email you, you’re just kind of there,” said Graham Dugoni, CEO of Yondr, the company he founded five years ago.

Graham Dugoni, Founder of Yondr

The pouches are now in use at schools, concerts, court houses, weddings and more.

“People are finding that when they step into a phone-free space that seems to help them, then we’re doing the right thing,” said Dugoni.

Although we did hear stories about students trying to break open the pouches, the ones we spoke with actually seem to enjoy their phone-free days.

Ale’ya Lee

“I’m walking down the hallway [and] people are actually talking to each other and not on their phones,” said junior Ale’ya Lee.

“I was actually kind of glad that they were doing this finally,” said student Justin Choo.

“It’s really great to see the kids being kids and talking and playing and just engaging with one another,” added Juarez.

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