Chris Gordon

Wilson High School Students Required to Give Up Phones in Class

Students at a D.C. high school now have to lock up their phones when they're in class.

Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest has started using pouches from a company called Yondr to create cellphone-free classrooms.

Students shut off their phones and put them in the individual pouches. They then close the bags to lock them and put them at the front of the class.

At the end of class, students unlock the pouches using a special magnetic device to retrieve their phones.

"So we're starting with science and math and then ... each nine weeks we'll add a different department so ... the plan is to be a cellphone-free school," Wilson High School Principal Kimberly Martin said.

The school's Parent Teacher Student Organization paid the $5,000 cost for the Yondr bags.

Students who write for the school newspaper say the cost is concerning to students they have interviewed.

"The comments we're hearing most, or at least that's what it seems like is like, 'Where did this money come from? Why are we spending money on this as opposed to, like, a million other things that we need to be spending money on, I guess," student Maya Wilson said.

One student told News4 she's concerned about needing to use her phone during an emergency.

"If there is an emergency and I can't get to my phone then I would start to panic myself because I want to make sure that my mom knows I'm OK," student Olivia Howard said.

A spokesperson for D.C. Public Schools says in the case of an emergency the school would communicate with students over the intercom. If there's an evacuation teachers would be responsible for bringing the magnetic unlocking devices out so students can retrieve their phones.

Contact Us