Ontario to ban smartphone use from public schools next year

Ontario to ban smartphone use from public schools next year

At the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board, spokesman Stephen Fields told BlackburnNews.com the board has a policy in place that leaves the use of cell phones in the classroom up to the discretion of the teacher, but it looks forward to reading the directive from the province.

Ministry of education officials, speaking on background, said students wouldn't be expected to lock up their phones and while enforcement will be hard, it will be left up to school boards.

The announcement is expected in the "near future".

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) implemented a similar ban but it was reversed four years later. These improvements were mostly demonstrated among the students who were typically "low achieving".

Thompson announced additional money for school boards and training for teachers Monday as hundreds of kids may soon enter school because they will get less funding for therapy.

The ban will not apply to cellphone use for educational, health and medical purposes or as support for those students with special needs.

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"I think we really need to think progressively about this and say, 'OK, this technology is here, it's real".

NDP education critic Marit Stiles noted that a recent memo from the education ministry advised school boards to defer filling vacancies for retirements and other leaves for teachers and other staff until a promised update by March 15.

The Green party questioned why a government focused on cutting red tape is introducing "a top-down regulation that complicates things for educators on the front line".

While input on changing the sex education curriculum dominated headlines, education consultations conducted over the past year gathered feedback on the potential to ban cellphones from classrooms, the Canadian Press article states. About 97 per cent of respondents favoured some sort of restriction on phones in class.

British Columbia does not have a provincial policy on cellphone use in classrooms, so schools set their own rules.

The mother, who has two children in elementary school, says that although we live in a world that relies on technology, there's a time and a place for cellphones.

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