Ogden High School bans phones in classrooms

Feb 5, 2024, 6:00 PM

Children carrying totes in a classroom at Daniels Canyon Elementary School in Heber City on March 2...

FILE: Kindergarteners Daleyza Plancarte Castro, left, Aitana De La Cruz and Alexis Bernal wait to change classrooms at Daniels Canyon Elementary School in Heber City on March 29, 2022. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — After Utah Gov. Spencer Cox sent letters to school leaders asking for a ban on phones in classrooms in the state, Ogden High School started doing just that, beginning Monday, Feb. 5. 

Students can keep their phones in their backpacks, but a three-strike policy is in force if they are caught using phones in classrooms.

Jer Bates, spokesman for the Ogden School District, joins KSL NewsRadio’s Debbie Dujanovic and Taylor Morgan to discuss the new policy.

“These devices aren’t going away. What we need to do is help these young people understand how to use them responsibly and effectively,” he said.


Bates said the no-cellphone ban at Ogden High isn’t revolutionary or groundbreaking. Ben Lomond High School in Ogden City previously implemented the same policy.

Uniform policy on phones in class now in place

He said the ban is providing uniformity and clarity to what was previously a patchwork policy at the school.

“The big difference here, you guys,” said Bates, “is that it’s simply applying uniformity to the rule because at Ogden High School previously, in most of our classrooms, we’ve had some form or another of no-cellphone policy.”

“However, it wasn’t uniform. Teachers didn’t have a set expectation for how they would enforce the policy. Now, what we’ve done is we’ve taken out the ambiguity, and everybody knows a certain set of rules from one class to another,” Bates said.

He added that he checked with the school’s principal the morning of Feb. 5.  “It’s all quiet. We’ve had some students saying they are getting more work done in class,” she said.

Kids are ‘rule-followers’

Bates said he doesn’t expect the three-strike policy to be used too extensively.

“A lot of kids, they really are rule-followers. If you just say kids, these are the rules, they will follow,” Bates said.

But if a student is having difficulty adopting the ban on cellphones, Bates said the school is not going to lean into punishment but rather seek to understand why the student is having a particularly difficult adjusting to and implementing the new policy.

“Let’s bring the family in and work together to try to see if we can find the root of the problem and work for a solution for this student,” Bates said.

He said the school has lockers for students’ cellphones — but hopes they are not ever used.

“The idea is hey, you come to class, you put it in your backpack, we never see it, it’s not a problem. The lockers are simply in place to help really reinforce that message of — hey if you do take it out in class, the teacher sees it, that’s where it’s going to go,” he said.


Governor’s message to students: ‘hang up and learn’

Proposed bill would require public schools to display The 10 Commandments

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Breaking News

missing tooele woman Karen Crawford is pictured, she was found dead last night...

Mariah Maynes

SLCPD finds missing Tooele woman dead

Tooele Police Department said that Salt Lake City Police Department found Karen Crawford, a missing Tooele woman, dead on Tuesday.

1 day ago

kansas city shooting...

NICK INGRAM Associated Press

2 adults are charged with murder in the deadly shooting at Kansas City’s Super Bowl celebration

The new charges come after two juveniles were charged for the Kansas City shooting last week.

2 days ago

Police in Tooele, Utah, have arrested a 9-year-old child for allegedly shooting and killing an adul...

Adam Small

Tooele police arrest 9-year-old child in fatal shooting of adult relative

It's unclear if the child has been charged. Tooele police said there was at least one other person in the home at the time.

2 days ago

kansas city chiefs super bowl parade shooting aftermath...


2 juveniles charged in mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade

A news release from the Jackson County Family Court said the juveniles are being detained in the county’s Juvenile Detention Center.

6 days ago

Utah Board of Education unanimously votes to censure Cline...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah Board of Education unanimously votes to censure Natalie Cline

The Utah State Board of Education has unanimously voted to request Natalie Cline resign. With this vote, the board has officially censured her.

8 days ago

crash and police presence at the scene where a trooper was injured...

Mariah Maynes

UHP trooper injured while deploying tire spikes

Sgt. Cam Roden of UHP said that a trooper was injured as law enforcement was working to deploy tire spikes.

9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Ogden High School bans phones in classrooms