Yondr’s revenues, driven mostly by sales to school districts, have seen more than a 10-fold increase since 2021, according to a report in The 74.
Yondr produces neoprene pouches to lock up students’ cellphones — a clear sign that the movement to keep phones out of classrooms is spreading across the U.S.
For example, the Akron, Ohio, district is among those requiring all middle and high school students to slip their phones into the rubbery envelopes each morning and unlock them with a magnet at the end of the day.
“All signs point to 2024 being even busier,” says Sarah Leader, the company’s spokeswoman.
“It’s a game changer,” says Patricia Shipe, president of the Akron Education Association. Students are less distracted and schools feel calmer, she said. “The transitions between classes are faster because kids are not on their phones.”
Most districts already restrict students from using phones in class for non-academic reasons. But phone-free advocates say tighter restrictions are needed to center students on learning following the pandemic and to minimize the negative effect of social media on youth mental health.
Such moves typically draw strong reactions. Some parents see phones as integral to reaching their children during emergencies.
But many welcome the opportunity to curb frequent disruption. Teens report being on social media “almost constantly,” according to research from the Pew Research Center.
Florida has gone further than any state to curb cell phone use during school hours. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law in May that prohibits students from accessing social media, especially TikTok, and from using phones except when teachers approve their use for educational purposes.