2018-2019 Commentary — 12 October 2018
Opinion: Yondr policy saves us from ourselves

By Selim Jones

It was five minutes before my biology test, Ms. Spoto was reviewing what was going to be in the test which, by the way, accounted for twenty percent of my grade, and I was on my phone.

How did we get here? Why am I scrolling through Instagram instead of preparing for my test? If only there were some magical device that could fix my phone addiction and help my grades.

As you can probably tell, I’m being sarcastic. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Yondr pouches, the little bags you put your phone in at the beginning of class that won’t let you at your phone until the class ends.

Starting this year, Oakland High has required all of its ninth grade teachers to use Yondr pouches in their classrooms. Not only that but multiple pathways have started using them, citing improved student attitude and experience.

Hundreds of schools have started using Yondr pouches, following in the footsteps of entertainers Dave Chapelle and Childish Gambino, among others, both of whom use Yondr and strongly suggest it others. The schools have experienced drastic growth in overall experience, according to a letter sent out by Milton High, a school in Georgia.

“Yondr improved my focus,” said freshman Genevieve Saechow, “It’s made me better than in middle school.’’

Despite the benefits, some students are unwilling to part with their phones.

“I don’t think they should take our phone like that,” said sophomore Chan Saephan. “We might need it sometime.”

Many students have repeated this argument, despite the fact that teachers say they will allow phone use if it is an emergency.

Oakland High is spending a lot of money on Yondr that it could be spending on other things, but what would be the point of improving the school if students are too busy staring at their phones to notice?

Although some students are having trouble adapting, they’re going to need to. Oakland High isn’t the only school using this technology that might soon become the norm. Among those schools is California’s own San Lorenzo High.

“At San Lorenzo High School in California, which this school year began requiring students to  to Yondr their phones from the beginning of first period until the end of the last period, the difference has been stark. Grades have gone up and discipline problems have plummeted, said principal Allison Silvestri. Referrals for defiance and disrespect are down by 82 percent, she said, adding that before Yondr, most of them had stemmed from arguments between students and teachers over phone use in class,” according to a February article from the Washington Post.

There are many benefits to not spending your day on a phone. A recent study conducted by psychologist Jean Twenge found that students who spend five or hours on their phones a day are 71 percent more likely to commit suicide and have increased levels of stress, and those numbers are only going up.

In conclusion, if you want to get better grades, have a longer life expectancy, and reduce stress,  put your phone in a pouch for ninety minutes.

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