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Lewiston Middle School to Ban Cellphones Over Bullying Concerns

Middle school students in Lewiston will now be required to keep their cellphones turned off, from the start to the end of the school day.

Jana Mates is principal of Lewiston Middle School. She says while elementary schools in her district don't allow cellphones, the high school allows them at teachers' discretion, for things like doing research, online learning or listening to music between classes.

But she says that wasn't working for the middle school. "Looking back at some of the events that have happened in the last couple years, just the increase in bullying and kids not really knowing how to use social media appropriately, we decided to ban them altogether."

Those events include the suicide of one student who was bullied online, and the response on social media to the accidental death of another student. Mates says when the school looked at the social media posts connected to both, they realized that much of it had come during school hours. She says the school is just trying to keep kids safe.

Lewiston Middle School joins a number of other schools in the state placing restrictions on cellphone use.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.