Dark Side to School-Controlled Locking Phone Case: Kids Can't Document Abuse


It sounds like such a great idea: If kids are being distracted by cell phones in the classroom, put the phones in an impenetrable pouch.

It’s called Yondr — and if you’ve heard about it, it’s probably at a concert venue.

“Yondr creates phone-free spaces for artists, comedians, teachers, organizations and more. The Yondr system is a simple solution to a technological problem that allows you to maintain possession of your phone at all times,” the company states on its website.

“At a phone-free show, artists and audiences can enjoy the performance in the moment and without distraction, creating a better experience for everyone. No cell phones, smart watches, cameras or recording devices are permitted in the performance area.”

If you’re at a show, you’ll be asked to put your phones and other devices into the pouch. The pouch is then locked until the end of the show. This works well enough at phone-free concerts that school officials in Richardson, Texas, want to try it at a venue somewhat less exciting than the Hollywood Bowl, the Apollo or the Grand Ole Opry.

'A Tragic Day for the Rule of Law': Appeals Court Clamps Down on Trump by Reinstating Gag Order

“Students at Forest Meadow Junior High will pilot using the pouches to lock up phones during the school day,” the Dallas Morning News reported in mid-August. “Officials had wanted to use the pouches to enforce the district’s cell phone ban at secondary schools but scaled back plans after community pushback.”

On the surface, it seems reasonable: “Forest Meadow has about 800 students. Each student will be issued an individual magnet-locked pouch, which is slightly larger than a cellphone,” the Morning News reported.

“At dismissal times each day, students will unlock the pouch at designated areas throughout the school. The phone would then be ready to use. Students who have smartphones to help manage a health condition, such as diabetes, would be able to continue to do so.”

And Richardson is apparently far from alone. Schools in Massachusetts and San Francisco are also using the pouch for students as well, according to the Morning News.

Should these locking cases be introduced to American schools?

This sounds great in theory. In practice, it’s going to work about as well as gun control.

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: The students surreptitiously using digital devices during the school day will continue to surreptitiously use devices during the school day. The good kids, the ones who take the rules seriously, will be those affected by it.

What will they miss? Maybe scenes like this, where a Springfield, Missouri, teacher last year tried to give cupcakes apparently based on whether they identified as LGBT or had sympathy to the cause. She then grew abusive to students who wanted a cupcake even if they were straight.

Pentatonix Says Its Music Meant to Share Its Faith in Jesus, 'Spread His Love'

Of course, that’s clear-cut inappropriate behavior. And that teacher is no longer with the Springfield school district, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

But what about when it’s more subtle, when teachers insist on instructing children on gender ideology — whether or not their parents want them to receive that instruction?

Up until recently, ideologues whose raison d’être in the classroom was to insert their politics into the curriculum could deny, deny, deny. Social media — in particular, amplification through Libs of TikTok — made that impossible.

For the most part, these idiots record themselves. However, if they don’t, there are still some students around willing to record the indoctrination for them — provided, of course, they have the tools.

And that’s why this is so hard to believe this is about the bad apples being deprived of their cell phones all day — not in the least because it won’t do that. Instead, whistleblowers will be deprived of the whistles. Blow as hard as you want, folks! Critical race theorists, progressive LGBT groomers — they can say what they want, so long as they get hired. If you disagree, who’s going to believe you?

If this seems like a net plus for the woke crowd, they ought to stop waving the bloody flag of Uvalde, then. During the mass murder at that Texas school, students called police with descriptions of the carnage inside; the fact law enforcement chose to ignore it should fall on them, but the fact the Yondr will make it more difficult for responsible children to allow authorities to respond should remain our concern.

The final reason that we should ban the Yondr from our schools is a consideration of who it interests. How often do we think about a pouch like this? Rarely, if at all. On balance, it sounds good to us, but mostly because we don’t want students to abuse their digital devices during school hours.

How often do certain school administrators think about a pouch like this? Certainly more often than we do. It sounds very good to them — and it has little to do with them not wanting students to abuse their digital devices during school hours.

But then, they don’t want you to know that.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , ,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture