New device keeps students locked out of their phones during school

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NEW ORLEANS -- Cell phones tend to be a daily distraction for everyone.

For teens, smart devices seem to literally be glued to their hands morning, noon, and night.

At the International High School of New Orleans, a new device was introduced this semester that essentially locks students' phones up for the entire school day.

The idea came from history teacher, Michael Tillman, who discovered a company called Yondr.

Yondr creates mobile phone pouches which close with a propriety lock and then use a device to unlock them.

It basically mirrors something you would see in a clothing store on a security tag.

At IHSNO, students enter the school building, pick up a designated pouch, and lock their phones in them.

Then, the students are able to carry the pouch around with them throughout the entire school day.

At the end of the day, they line up and use the unlocking board at one of multiple stations as they exit the building.

So, we asked a few seniors what their thoughts were on these newly implemented pouches.

"When we were first told about it, I was kind of upset. Then, I realized it's actually helping me in class to do my work and focus more," says Senior, Heaven Mullen.

"Honestly, at first I was kind of confused because I was like I don't know how it's going to work. Kids aren't going to use it. Then, once we got into the groove of things at school, it was just easy to use," says Senior Amanda Bartek.

Besides the students being a little bummed about these lockable pouches, concerned parents also raised a red flag.

They wanted to know what would happen during an emergency like a school shooting.

Tillman responded with information on the school's automatic alerts that are connected to each parent and guardians smart devices.

"In the event that we have a situation where we need to notify parents that something is going on here, we have other systems. We can push out e-mails. We have pop-ups that come up on the website," says IB Coordinator, Michael Tillman.

Tillman also went on to tell us that parents can still call in on the landline phone in the office.

IHSNO is really kickin' it old school by the way students are now communicating with their peers.

"Usually we like Snapchat each other, tweet each other, whatever, but now it's like instead of texting them, we just write a note and pass it," says Bartek.

"Now I feel like I've made friends that I probably wouldn't have talked to before. So, that's pretty interesting, and I'm learning a lot more about people that I was friends with before by just having a simple conversation with them," says Bartek.

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