SEYMOUR -- Seymour High School has gone old school.
Now students who want to communicate with the outside world have to do so by using the main office telephone. The principal has instituted a ban on cell phone usage inside the school throughout the school day.
Various incidents led to the ban, but even students admit its nice to actually interact face-to-face rather than with your thumbs.
“Although technology has had such a great impact on our education, it has also caused the demise of social interaction and paying attention within the classroom,” said Paulina Karwowski, a Seymour High School senior, who is also a student member of the Board of Education.
The school's principal says more and more disciplinary action was becoming necessary as a result of cellphone use in the school “related to what I would call mean spirited behavior occurring through text messaging and social media,” said Jim Freund, the principal.
Before the policy took effect on December 11, the students were informed research showed there are advantages, “which includes students test performance improving, letter grades improving by typically one and a half,” Freund said.
There was resistance at first, but now there's clear progress.
“We had a sub and typically all phones would be out, people would be sleeping, and I walked in and everyone was just doing work. So, that’s crazy to me,” said Karwowski.
Freun, in his fourth year as the school’s principal, added, “I’ve had students come to me and say ‘you know I’ve never gotten so much homework done before. My grades are higher now than they’ve ever been before.’”
And when the bell rings at 2 p.m., it's easy to notice the students are off the clock!