Disconnected: Plainfield middle school makes students go phone-free

Posted: Updated:

A middle school in Union County is forcing its students to stay disconnected in class, by prohibiting cellphones.

Maxson Middle School Principal Kevin Stansbury implemented the phone ban this week after he noticed some major issues inside of the school.

“Our test scores were down, suspensions were up, discipline was up,” he says.

Stansbury says students were too distracted by their phones to focus on school. So he purchased Yondr pouches for the school. When students come in to class each morning, they place their phones in the pouch, which is then locked up tight. It can only be opened using a special device at the end of the day.

Eighth-graders who spoke with News 12 New Jersey say that they noticed a change in a matter of hours.

“It's just better for everyone because you'll understand how it feels to get more work done instead of paying attention to the phone,” says student Charlene Venture.

“I’m usually listening to music, not listening to no one, but today I got to communicate with all my friends,” says student Desiree Durant.

The program was originally met with some backlash from students and parents. But teachers and administrators say that the program will have a major impact.

“Students were talking and laughing and there were no cellphones other than being carried in the pouches,” Stansbury says.

Teacher Nia Cummings says she even noticed students bouncing ideas off each other in class. She says students used to give up quickly and just look for answers on their phones. She says they now try to figure it out themselves.

Maxson Middle School is currently the only one in the district to use these pouches.

Yondr Pouches have been used at some concerts and comedy shows in venues that do not want their audiences to use their phones.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."