Hogan Prep proposes ‘phone-free’ high school

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 7:33 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A local charter school could require students to put their phones in a locked pouch for most of the day.

In a letter to parents, Hogan Prep High School said that cell phones had been creating disruptions and disruptions. The message included a fact sheet that read, “The use of cell phones during the school day contributes to an unsafe and less productive environment. Moving forward, Hogan will be a phone free school.”

Hogan requested feedback families on the proposal, which includes the use of lockable bags from a company called Yondr. The bags require a specialized tool to reopen. The district’s fact sheet said students would keep their secured phones with them through the day and still be able to use them at designated times and places.

“At the start of the day, each individual student will receive their own locked bag to secure their cellular device. Each student maintains possession of their phone in their Yondr bag,” it said.

In November the state temporarily shut down Hogan because of ongoing concerns about safety and other issues. At the time parents told KCTV that social media posts had contributed to ongoing issues with fights, threats and bullying.

Some families liked the idea of asking kids to keep their phones locked away. Lisa Dukes, whose grandson attends the High School, felt that phones created unnecessary distractions.

“I like it because the phones to the students are distracting,” Dukes said.

Other parents were not on board with the idea. Jennifer Clark felt like the proposal was a punishment for kids who had sent their parents information about some of the issues happening in the fall. She was also worried about her child’s ability to reach her in an emergency.

“I don’t understand why you have to take our kids phones,” Clark said. “Because they reached out to us? I think there’s something more to what they’re saying.”