ODESSA, Fla. (WFLA) – At Walker Middle Magnet School in Hillsborough County, students spend their lunch break without something that’s usually never far from them… their cell phones.
The school adopted a “no electronics policy” this year.
“The premise for it is to help kids develop those soft skills that these babies that have literally come out of the womb with an electronic device in their hands, they just haven’t been able to fully develop at this point,” said Principal Heather Holloway.
Students are not allowed to be on their phones or use any device during lunch. Instead, they are encouraged to talk to each other, play board games, do homework, read or even play cards.
“No electronics of any kind in the cafeteria during lunches,“ Holloway said.
The new norm at lunch, started last year as “old school Wednesdays” and expanded this year to every day.
Most of the kids seem to love it.
“It’s definitely nice because last year, nobody wanted to talk to anybody… we just wanted to play on our phones,” said 8th grader Ava D’Amico. “But now that we don’t have the option to play on our phone, we get to socialize.”
If a student is caught using their phone, on the first offense it’s taken until the end of lunch. On the second offense, it’s taken until the end of the day. On a third offense, a parent has to pick it up.