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California high school goes phone-free, locks devices in magnetic pouches

SAN MATEO, Calif. — A high school in the Bay Area is using a device developed by a San Francisco startup to keep cellphones out of students' reach while class is in session.

It's called a Yondr pouch, and only teachers have the magnetic key necessary to release the phones.

Every student at San Mateo High School now starts the day by putting their phone in one of the locking pouches, and it doesn't come out until school is dismissed.


School officials tested the program last year after noticing some kids spent too much time lost in their phones instead of learning or socializing.

It was so successful, they rolled it out to all 1,700 students this year.

"I really think it's about being present and engaging in the adult that's trying to teach you, your peers that might be in your small group," Assistant Principal Adam Gelb told KGO.

Contrary to what you might think, many students said staying away from their phones while at school is a good thing.

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