How Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch ban phones in schools without sacrificing safety, connectivity, and technology integration.

There are laws and policies to ban phones in schools. Still, frontline teachers and administrators have practical tools and solutions to enforce them, so most have given up on the sacrifice of learning equity, safety, and learning.

Smartphones are increasingly identified as key contributors to issues like cyberbullying, widening achievement gaps, and lower test scores in schools. Despite policies banning phones, many educators and administrators struggle with enforcement.

John Nguyen, 14+ Yr Public High School Teachers in Moreno Valley, CA.

Why Total Ban Phones in School Fail.

“Teacher Confiscates Phone, Get Pepper-spray by student.”

1. Resistance from Students and Parents: Students, particularly teenagers, often view their phones as essential personal items. A total ban phones might be met with resistance from students who feel their freedom is being infringed upon. Similarly, parents might object to the policy, mainly if they rely on mobile phones to communicate with their children during the day for safety and coordination purposes.

2. Enforcement Consistency: Enforcing a phone ban across an entire school can be challenging. 

Confiscating students’ phones in the classroom frequently leads to open confrontations, class disruptions, strained teacher-student relationships, and potential liability issues. As teachers, we often face resentment from students when enforcing this policy. The addiction to these devices has significantly altered our students’ behaviors and attitudes towards school and learning.”

Arthur Nguyen, 9+ Yr Chemsitry Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.

Teachers who enforce phone policies are villainized while lax teachers become students’ favorites.

John Nguyen, 14+ Yr Public High School Teachers in Moreno Valley, CA.

3. Logistical Issues: The physical process of collecting, storing, and returning phones (especially in a larger school with hundreds of students) can be logistically complex. 

“[Administrators often delegate the entire responsibility of enforcing phone policies to already overburdened classroom teachers, assuring them of support. However, when teachers refer students for phone-related issues, there is frequently no follow-through. Repeated attempts to enforce these policies can lead to perceptions of the teacher as ineffective, creating a cycle of frustration and ineffectiveness]” (Paraphrased)

Anonomous Teacher, 2o+ Yr in Title I High School in Moreno Vally, CA.

4. Emergency Situations: Not having immediate access due to ineffective ban phones resulted in inaccessible phones, which could be problematic for students and staff. While the proposed system allows for controlled access, it might not be sufficient in a fast-moving or critical situation.

5. Dependency on Technology for Learning: In today’s educational environments, smartphones and other digital devices are often integrated into the learning process. A complete ban on phones could hinder the use of these educational tools and resources, potentially impacting the learning experience.

6. Potential for Covert Non-compliance: Some students might circumvent the ban by bringing additional electronic devices to school or avoiding handing in their phones. This could lead to an ongoing battle between students and school authorities, creating a hostile atmosphere.

7. Resource Allocation: Implementing and maintaining a total ban on phones requires resources, including time, money, and personnel. Schools would need to allocate funds for purchasing pouches, training staff, and managing the system daily, which could be a significant investment.

8. Impact on Student Autonomy and Responsibility: While the aim is to encourage responsible phone use, a complete ban might also prevent students from learning how to manage their phone usage independently in an educational setting, which is an important life skill.

9. Legal and Privacy Concerns: There might be legal implications regarding the student’s right to privacy and personal property when we ban phones in school altogether.

10. Digital Inclusion and Equity: While the intent is to create equity, there could be unintended consequences. For example, those who depend on their phones for learning reasons might find a total ban particularly challenging when schools enforce a complete ban on phones in school without any exceptions.

Students are increasingly using phones to cheat unapologetically on a widespread scale, turning it into a normative behavior. This trend likely contributes to the significant discrepancy observed between high graduation rates, as reflected in GPAs, and their lower performance on high-stakes state tests.”

John Nguyen, 14+ Yr Public High School Teachers in Moreno Valley, CA.

Discover the Balance: Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch® ban phones in schools with connectivity, safety, and technology integration.

The catalyst for my creation of the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch was a heart-wrenching incident of bullying at a nearby middle school, which tragically led to a student’s death. Witnessing videos shared on social media, I was appalled by the lack of empathy shown by students. Rather than helping, they were more intent on recording the incident to share online. This led me down a distressing path of viewing countless similar videos. In the videos, students often rush to spectate, record, and even incite fights, using their phones to coordinate and attract larger crowds. Moved by these observations, I developed the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch not just as an educational tool, but also as a parenting tool. It empowers educators with a means to positively and proactively correct student behaviors, mirroring a parental role. This invention aims to intervene early in students’ behavioral issues, preventing them from escalating into tragedies.

John Nguyen, Inventor and co-founder of Win Elements LLC, 14+ Yr Public High School Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.

As a classroom teacher, I developed the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch®, prioritizing safety and flexibility while fostering learning opportunities for students. SAFE stands for ‘Student Accountability; Focused Environment.’ This tool offers various effective implementation methods adaptable to different school demographics and teaching circumstances. However, its full potential is realized only when teachers and administrators collaborate in its enforcement. From my experience in the classroom, I recognize the limited choices and voice teachers often have in such matters. Thus, I created the Safe Pouch to empower individual teachers to establish phone-free classrooms independently, even without administrative support if necessary.”

John Nguyen, Inventor and co-founder of Win Elements LLC, 14+ Yr Public High School Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.

How Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch does not compromise safety, connectivity, or technology integration.

  1. All pouches have three holes for access and control, allowing voice commands to make or answer calls and adjust the volume.
  2. Every classroom has a Tier 1 Magnet to “unlock” any Tier 1 Blue Pouch in seconds.
  3. Only a few students who violate school rules will have their phones confiscated or locked in Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouches.
  4. In an emergency, students may use scissors to cut the thread on the side of the Tier 2 Orange Safe Pouch to remove their devices. (We will repair them for you.)
ban phone in school with Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch

Like any concerned parent, I prioritize student safety above all else. During the development of the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch, the nation was grappling with tragic events like the Parkland High School shooting in Florida and the Las Vegas mass shooting. Recognizing that communication and access to phones can be lifesaving in such situations, I designed the Safe Pouches with multiple built-in safety features. These include specialized tiers, magnets, and thoughtful implementation strategies, ensuring both security and accessibility when necessary.”

John Nguyen, Inventor and co-founder of Win Elements LLC, 14+ Yr Public High School Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.
Ban Phones with Connectivity and Safety Features
Ban Phones with Connectivity and Safety Features

Understanding the immense responsibilities faced by today’s classroom teachers and administrators, I designed the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch to distribute responsibilities among all school staff and students. This approach ensures a seamless implementation of the system at any time without overburdening any particular group. In this system, students are accountable for their own pouches. Volunteer students assist in securing devices into pouches each morning, contributing to a collaborative effort. Campus supervisors and teachers, thanks to the design of the pouch, can easily identify any student who might risk having their device out, enabling swift enforcement of Tier 2 consequences. For administrators and their support staff, the responsibility is streamlined to managing only the Tier 2 pouches. At the end of the day, teachers are tasked with ‘unpouching’ all Tier 1 Blue Pouches. Students with Tier 2 pouches have the additional responsibility of returning their pouches to the Main Office. This system not only ensures effective management of phone usage but also fosters a sense of shared responsibility and community within the school.

John Nguyen, Inventor and co-founder of Win Elements LLC, 14+ Yr Public High School Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.

Unlimited benefits of banning phones in schools with Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch®.

There is growing evidence that unrestricted use of smartphones by pupils at elementary and secondary schools during the schooldays interferes with the educational mission of the schools, lowers pupil performance, particularly among low-achieving pupils, promotes cyberbullying, and contributes to an increase in teenage anxiety, depression, and suicide. ​”

California Legislatures in Assembly Bill 272

Reduction in Classroom Disruptions: Smartphones are often distracting for the owner and surrounding students. A phone ban can lead to fewer disruptions during class, allowing teachers to conduct lessons more smoothly and effectively.

Enhanced Teacher-Student Interaction: With no screens to compete with, teachers may find it easier to connect with students when we ban phones effectively. This can foster a more interactive and dynamic classroom environment where students feel more inclined to participate and ask questions.

Improvement in Social Skills and Peer Interaction: A phone-free environment encourages students to communicate face-to-face during their free time, potentially improving their social skills and strengthening peer relationships.

Dr. Jean Twenge, who is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, published a book in 2017 entitled “iGen,” which presents evidence of an increase in depression and suicide among American teenagers that may be caused by increased mobile device screen time and social media use. According to Dr. Twenge, 8th-grade pupils who spend 10 or more hours per week on social media are 56 percent more likely to describe themselves as unhappy than those who devote less time to social media. Moreover, teenagers who spend three hours per day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to demonstrate risk factors for suicide, such as suicidal ideation, and teenagers who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to demonstrate a risk factor for suicide.”

California Legislatures in Assembly Bill 272

More Equitable Learning Environment: The presence of smartphones can highlight socioeconomic differences among students (not everyone has the latest model). Removing phones can help create a more level playing field where students are less likely to feel left out or judged based on their devices.

Shift in Teaching Strategies: The absence of phones might encourage teachers to explore different teaching methods and tools without smartphone technology. This could lead to more innovative and varied educational and hands-on experiences.

​Technology Integration: Since all classrooms ​have Tier 1 Magent to unlock any ​Tier 1 Blue Safe Pouch, teachers can open it ​for learning activities ​or to provide students additional support or accommodations with supervision. ​Hence, we ban phones in schools but still allow teachers to use them at any time.

What do educators think about banning phones with Multi-Tiered Safe Pouches?

I developed the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch with versatility and ease of implementation in mind, ensuring that it can be effectively used by individual teachers in their classrooms or adopted on a school-wide scale. This flexibility allows for the system to be initiated at any time and to any extent, accommodating the unique needs of different educational settings. The design of the Safe Pouch enables schools to effortlessly scale up the implementation or switch between different operational options as their requirements evolve, all with minimal disruption. This adaptability is key, providing educators with a practical solution that can be tailored to their specific circumstances, whether it’s a single teacher seeking to create a focused learning environment or an entire school striving to establish uniform phone usage policies.” 

John Nguyen, Inventor and co-founder of Win Elements LLC, 14+ Yr Public High School Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.

Is Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch® Affordable and Sustainable?

Understanding the financial constraints of schools, as a high school chemistry teacher, I ensured the Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch is affordable. Priced as low as $12, it includes 180 days of free repair services, followed by reasonable fees thereafter. Impressively, schools with about 1000 students can recoup up to $300,000 annually from recovered ADA by using the Safe Pouch to address first-period tardiness, conduct tardy sweeps, minimize suspensions, and prevent chronic absences. These savings are in addition to those gained from discontinuing various ineffective programs. Moreover, our long-term commitment to pouch repairs significantly cuts down on waste and pollution, leading to additional financial benefits for schools.”

John Nguyen, Inventor and co-founder of Win Elements LLC, 14+ Yr Public High School Teacher in Moreno Valley, CA.

List of Schools and Districts Using Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch®.


ABC Unified School District, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Moreno Valley Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Selma Unified School District, & more…


Bayside Community Day School, Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, Moreno Valley High School, Valley View High School, Gladstone Middle School, Priest Elementary, & many more…

Disclaimer: The organizations listed do not include all districts and schools using Safe Pouch, and it does not imply any form of endorsement or support for our services or products.

Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch, a classroom game-changer. Local and mainstream media journalists are invited for an exclusive interview with its creator, John Nguyen. Unveil how this unique invention tackles modern educational challenges and captivate your audience with this groundbreaking story.

Introducing Win Elements LLC, co-founded by educator John Nguyen, who has 14+ years of experience in a Title 1 high school. The Multi-Tiered Safe Pouch® is revolutionizing learning environments by ensuring phone-free, equitable, and safe classrooms. It’s critical in evolving PBIS and MTSS, offering positive behavior.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 103

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