SAN MATEO (KRON) — San Mateo High School is taking a bold step this year by requiring their students to go cell phone free during the day.

Now after the school bell rings letting the students out for the day, another sound can be heard filling the hallways at San Mateo High School, as teachers help students unlock their new cell phone pouches using a magnet.

Since the start of the new school year, students have been made to secure their phones before their first class and leave them in the pouches there all day, even at lunchtime.

The assistant principal says the reason they’re prohibiting students from having access to their cell phones is that they’re trying to break their screen addictions — and so far, it appears to be working.

“When you walk by and cut a peek in classrooms, students heads are up facing the teacher, last year you could see half, sometimes three-fourths of students, looking down or on their phones with their phones physically out,” Assistant Principal Adam Gelb said. 

Some students say they are also noticing more social interaction during their breaks.

“Lunch I noticed there are more students outside, there’s more students talking our hallways,” one student said. [They] are a lot louder than they were last year without having to look at their phones, they need to communicate with each other which is a huge plus.”

But other students KRON4 talked to say they just plain hate it.

“I know a lot of people don’t like it and there’s a lot of people like joking about it because San Mateo is the only one doing it so a bunch of people are saying they’re going to transfer schools,” another student saud. 

The magnetic locking stations will be kept in every classroom and at the entry points, so the cell phones can be freed in case of an emergency that require students to call their parents.