Workman Middle School looking to keep cell phones out of the classroom

A new rule is in place for students at one Escambia County School. Cell phones are now banned during school hours at Workman Middle.

Administrators say the phones were causing too many distractions.

Teachers love it, students tolerate it.

Under new policy – Workman Middle is forcing students to turn over their phones by placing them inside their backpacks attached to the classroom wall before class begins.

Just under a thousand students at Workman Middle are getting used to the separation.

Workman Middle School administrators say the change is needed to keep students focused in the classroom.

“We just decided that the cell phone usage throughout the day wasn’t necessary,” said Principal Traci Ursrey explained.

“I feel like during school they need that break from that,” said Assistant Principal Crystal Marr.

The school is now providing Chromebooks to support learning so students don’t need to use their own.

“I think this is going to give them the opportunity to really put that aside and focus on learning and why they’re here at school in the first place,” explained Marr.

The principal says when a cell phone vibrates in a student’s pocket the impulse to check disrupts their attention.

“I’m hoping that it will help keep us safe, help with some of those adolescent social issues that they are not having to deal with those throughout the day and that it will increase instructional time in the classroom,” said Ursrey.

Even though the policy has been in effect for less than a week, the impact on the school environment is starting to show.

“This is hopefully going to help those kids not to worry about social media and dealing with that everyday throughout the day,” Ursrey explained.

“Just another effort in us doing our top two jobs,” Marr said.