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Evanston Township High School says cell phones will no longer be allowed in classes

New rules have been issued for cellphone use in the classroom at Evanston Township High School.

As announced by Evanston Township High School District 202 this past Friday, students starting this summer will be required to place their phones in a storage unit during class time. Headphones and earbuds are also subject to the policy.

Administrators said the rule addresses major concerns about the negative effects of phones on academics and students’ mental health and academic progress.

“We recognize the negative impact that student cell phone usage in the classroom can have on student achievement, engagement, and wellbeing—extending far beyond the classroom setting,” school administrators wrote. “Research has shown that cell phone usage during instructional time disrupts the learning process, diminishes the quality of classroom social interactions, impedes student focus, and results in missed instruction. Employers also indicate that there is a negative impact on performance in relation to students and recent graduates’ cell phone use in a variety of work environments.”

The district said this is not a cellphone ban.

“Our plan is to limit access to cell phones during class time in order to eliminate its disruption in the learning process and to ensure that students are fully present not only academically, but also socially and emotionally,” the district wrote. “To this end, the research shows that physical separation from the phone in the classroom setting is best for students.”

Students may still use their phones to stay in touch during passing, lunch, and free periods, and in The Hub student success center, administrators said.

Students will also be given back their devices in class if it is deemed appropriate during an emergency.

But students who do not comply with the rules will be given a verbal reminder of the expectations and potential disciplinary measures for noncompliance. A second incident will result in a call to parents and guardians, and a third will result a referral to the dean’s office and punitive measures in accordance with the Student Behavior Code.