RICHARDSON, Texas (Nexstar) — Another Texas school district is now requiring students to put their phones in locked pouches during the school day.
The Richardson Independent School District, just north of Dallas, is testing it out at one of its campuses.
Parents are more on edge recently as their kids go to school after the Uvalde elementary school shooting, so this move is concerning for some.
“The thing I don’t like about it like if something horrible happens in school, they won’t be able to get to the phone,” a parent said.
The district’s superintendent, Tabitha Branum, said they’re trying to make up for lost time. Many students fell behind during the pandemic.
“We’re still recovering in math and science, which are two very hands-on experiences for our students,” Branum said.
Richardson ISD said cell phones are too distracting for students and makes things harder for teachers.
“When we are distracted by social media or email or texting, we ignite a different part of the brain, the back of the brain, and it’s not conducive to deep focus,” Richardson ISD said.
Another district, Thorndale ISD in Central Texas, decided to adopt this policy as well in July.
Both districts said in emergency situations, teachers can use their classroom phones or even cut the pouches cell phones are locked in. Richardson ISD said students can email their parents on their school laptops if needed as well.
“It’s kind of a good thing that — so it would be less of a distraction,” a student said.
The system both districts are using is called Yondr. Students will have to bring the pouch to school every day. When they leave school, they’ll tap the case to a base that’ll unlock it, giving access back to their phones and other smart devices.
We’ll keep you updated on whether other districts across the state adopt this policy.