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Schools, musicians limit cell phone use to fight distractions

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 18:46:33-05

Many schools don't ban cell phones outright for kids but put restrictions limiting their use. 

The Clark County School District's policy says that students can use cell phones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices during scheduled nutrition or lunch periods, school-sponsored activities and on school buses. During the school day, however, students may only use electronic devices with the approval of the principal.

In addition, use that violates district policy, such as interfering with instruction, plagiarism, accessing sites not relevant to the classroom, sexting and cyberbullying is prohibited in CCSD. 

RELATED: High school experiments with locking students' phones away during class

The second largest district in Nevada, the Washoe County School District, has a similar policy. Washoe County advises that students should have cell phones turned off unless they're being used for educational and instructional purposes. Electronic devices cannot be used during exams and other testing situations.

Many education officials find both positive and negative effects of having cell phones in schools. According to a report from Concordia University, some of the pros include wider access to information, instant answers and access to video. It also gives parents peace of mind to be able to contact their children at school quickly and easily; however, schools argue that parents can still get a hold of them by going through the front office in an emergency. 

Then, of course, there are the negatives such as concerns about cheating, inappropriate content, distraction and cyberbullying. That's part of the reason why some schools, including at Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas, are using Yondr to give people the peace of mind of having their phone but without the distraction. 

When students come in, they put their cell phones in the cases that magnetically lock. At the end of class, the pouches open when they're swiped on the unlocking base.

On Yondr's website, the company says it "creates phone-free spaces for artists, educators, organizations and individuals. In our hyperconnected world, we provide a haven to engage with what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. In physical space and real time."

Musicians are also using Yondr to cut down on distractions at concerts. While various performers will encourage attendees to not use cell phones at concerts, generally, people can still use them to take photos and videos. 

At The Misfits' December show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, they required attendees to put phones into a Yondr pouch. Guests still had possession of their phones but couldn't use them until the end of the show, unless they left the venue. The policy even went so far that anyone caught using a cell phone would be removed from the show. 

Jack White recently announced he will be banning cell phones on his upcoming tour, including a stop at The Chelsea in August. He will also be using Yondr.