courtesy of Yondr website

Schools have been telling students that their cell phones are best left on silent or off in their lockers during class for years—and many students have been ignoring that suggestion for just as long. The newest solution? Neoprene magnetic pouches.

Maxson Middle School in Plainfield started the pilot use of  phone pouches last month, according to Students turn their devices off or put them on airplane mode in homeroom, then lock them in their personal pouches. The locks are similar to magnetic security tags used in stores. After keeping their phones on them all day, they head back to homeroom at the end of the day to open their pouch with a special unlocking device.

Yondr/Trent Nelson

Maxson teachers report higher focus among students, and some students have shared positive sentiments about the campaign with the principal, according to Prior to the pouches being used, it was explained to students that they weren’t being punished, but that it was to benefit them all in the classroom.

Yondr, a five-year-old San Francisco company, uses a patented system in an effort to make phone-free spaces available to creatives, students and everyone in between. Even Dave Chappelle uses them at his comedy shows, and Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) uses them at his concerts, both in an effort to make fans more present.

Yondr is being used at other schools around NJ, including Westside High and Collegiate Academy in Newark, Burlington County Alternative School in Mt. Laurel Twp. and The Moriah School in Englewood. It’s also made its way into the hallways of California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania schools.

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