SEYMOUR, Conn. (WTIC and AP) – Students at a Connecticut high school are reporting higher grades and more focus in the classroom since the school instituted a blanket ban on cellphone use.

Seymour High School Principal Jim Freund said the school banned cellphones Dec. 11 following instances of “mean spirited behavior” through text messages and social media.

Students are only allowed to use their phones at the teacher’s instruction or while using a classroom app.

Students opposed the ban at first, according to Freund. Now, he said students are improving their communication skills and test scores have also increased.

Freund said staff immediately noticed a difference with how students interacted with each other in the cafeteria.

“I’ve had students come to me and say, `you know I’ve never gotten so much homework done before,”’ Freund said.

Student Sukhman Singh told WVIT-TV he didn’t realize how much of a distraction cellphones had become.

“In class it’s a lot easier for the teacher to teach and for me to learn,” he said.

Freund says research shows banning cellphones has the same effect on test scores as adding five days to the school year.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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