A cell-phone-free BCHS highlighted in Washington Post column

The success of Bethlehem Central High School’s “no cell phone” policy has been featured in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled “Want to go back in time? Visit a school where cellphones are banned.” The June 6 article is available on the Washington Post website, however, reader access may be limited by the newspaper’s paywall.

Post columnist Kate Cohen visited the high school in May and spoke to BCHS principal Dave Doemel to learn more about the school’s efforts to remove distractions from classrooms, encourage more peer-to-peer interactions, and improve the school climate. Students keep their phones in a locked pouch, known as a Yondr pouch, during the school day.

“I asked Doemel whether anything about implementing the ban had surprised him,” writes Cohen. “He said he hadn’t realized what a burden the phones had been to the students, some of whom told him they were relieved to not have to respond to posts and texts during the school day.”

Doemel also told Cohen that BC has become a resource for other school districts looking to replicate the school’s cell phone practices. More than 20 districts have contacted the school for guidance and many have toured the school during the 2024-25 school year.

High school teachers and students talked about the cell phone policy in a video from earlier this year (YouTube).