Dartmouth, Mass. High School to Hold Student Phones in ‘Cell Hotels' to Limit Class Distractions

The cell hotels will be installed Aug. 31, ahead of the school year starting


A high school in Bristol County, Mass. is putting a new policy in place for the start of the school year that will not allow students to use their cell phones during class, according to NBC affiliate WJAR-TV.

Students at Dartmouth High School will place their phones into a "cell hotel," which kind of looks like a shoe rack. They'll have numbered pockets for students to put their phones in on their way into class, so they can learn free of digital distractions. They can take them back when class is over.

"We wanted to adopt it as a schoolwide policy and what I love about the policy is, the first part of it is a five minute conversation," Dartmouth High School Principal Ryan Shea told WJAR. "It doesn't make you late for class. It doesn't make you late for sports activities."

Students will each get their own pocket number, which could help with attendance, too. Teachers will put their phones into the cell hotel as well.

School district officials said the policy is going into effect after hearing concerns from teachers about cell phones in the classroom.

"The addiction to the cellphones creates a distraction for kids, for all of us sometimes in the classroom," Dartmouth Schools Superintendent Dr. Bonny Gifford told WJAR. "Teachers might be a little anxious that sometimes [students] might be cheating off each other, or again just distracted, taking video clips of maybe classmates and, or teachers, and then showing it on social media."

When asked about any possible concerns about safety in the case of an emergency, district officials said the policy may actually make things more secure.

"The number one priority in an emergency is getting our students into a safe spot," Shea said. "You take a scenario where there's someone actually entering your classroom, the last thing you want a kid to do is texting or the phone blowing up and going off on them."

School leaders said the policy is flexible, and are confident teachers would make the right choices based on whatever's going on.

The cell hotels will be installed Aug. 31, ahead of the school year starting.

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