Principal Torigian’s Push to Ban Cellphones

Judith Boyadjian

Bullard High School students have voiced their infuriated opinions surrounding the newly announced “Yondr Pouches”. On October 3rd BHS will be implementing Yondr, a pouch that provides students an easy and safe place to store their phones for the duration of the school day starting from the moment they enter campus, throughout lunch, and until the day is over. It will be unlocked in areas around Bullard with the use of magnets with the addition of teachers being given the choice to keep a magnet for emergency use. These magnetic pouches are stated to manifest an increase in student engagement and learning percentages as well as enforce a cell-free campus.

This announcement’s implementation caused many students in FUSD to exclaim their dislike for the pouches with one student from Fresno High School stated, “Stay safe!” Tabitha Andrews, a Bullard student commented, “It wouldn’t be as bad if we could unlock the pouches at lunch.” With all sorts of disputes, many students, teachers, and parents were left muddled on how they felt about Yondr. Principal Torigian stayed adamant about the policy and its future enforcement stating, “I think that in the long run, Yondr will make a great difference for the students that have disconnected from reality.”

Principal Torigian also stated that his main issue with student phone usage began during quarantine. He expressed that many students entered derealization during online school, damaging their ability to socialize and learn. With many students using their cell phones as a weapon rather than a tool, Mr. Torigian decided that he wanted students to become socially active again but in a positive environment,  he stated, “A lot of kids aren’t held accountable for cyberbullying and drug sales made online that can damage the campus culture and something had to be done. I would really like for us as a school to come together, attend football games, join clubs, and just connect in person rather than online.” Principal Torigian plans on keeping the Yondr system in place for as long as needed. 

Overall Yondr is an easy yet complex fix to Bullard’s phone usage issue. Hopefully, all goes well and Principal Torigian’s goals are met to establish BHS’s cell-free zone.