DeKalb County

Parents, students react after DeKalb schools vote to lock up phones during the school day

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Students say it will be a huge adjustment to put their cell phones in a magnetic pouch when school starts.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones spoke to some DeKalb County parents who say they need that line of communication to coordinate schedules with their children.

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”I understand it, but it’s just a little bit scary,” student Eyasu Gebremarim said.

Gebremarim, who is a junior at Tucker High School is not looking forward to disconnecting from his cell phone at the start of the school year.

Neither is Lakeside High student, Snow Ashley.

“There wasn’t really a need for the pouches,” Snow Ashley said.

The students will be attending two of the 10 schools where students will have to place their cell phones in a magnetic pouch when they head to class.

Then, they’ll place the pouch on a magnet to open the pouch at the end of the day.

The board approved the pilot program after administrators said cell phone use in class had gotten out of hand.

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“It is a huge distraction and it disrupts the flow of learning,” said Darnell Logan, Director of Student Relations.

“I think it’s going to create more problems than it solves,” parent Kristi Ashley said.

Kristi Ashley says cellphones come in handy when Chrome Books don’t work. She says they are necessary when she needs to arrange transportation for her children.

“If I can text her at lunch and say hey make sure you take the bus...or hey get a ride with someone,” Kristi Ashley said.

Gebremarim wonders what happens if there’s an emergency. He says it will be an adjustment for many students.

“I can definitely see a lot of people adjusting to that,” Gebremarim said.

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The district says students will be able to get to their phones in an emergency. Three middle schools will have cell phone lockers during the pilot program.

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