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Ontario classrooms to ban cellphones
14 March 2019, 06:22 | Cameron Gross
Ontario Government To Ban All Cellphones From Classrooms Next Year
The Canadian Press has learned that Ontario is set to announce this week that cellphones will be banned in classrooms, starting in the next school year.
The Ontario government says cell phones distract from learning, and while the local school board agrees, it doesn't believe banning phones is the right route.
"Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning, and not their cell phones", she said in a written statement Tuesday, March 12. "We allow cellphones in a classroom when teachers want to use them for instructional purposes and we do have a formal procedure on that, so we do recognize the value-a phone is actually a computer-and used quite often bt our classroom teachers".
The government said teachers and parents overwhelmingly supported banning cellphone use during telephone town halls and surveys conducted last fall, in which 97 per cent of the 35,000 respondents advocated for the move.
Would you be for or against a cellphone ban in schools across Western New York?
Superintendent Mark Davidson says the sheer number of phones in schools now would make enforcing a ban impossible.
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".
For example, in Canada's capital, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has an Appropriate Use of Technology policy.
Banning cellphone use in primary and secondary school classrooms was also one of Premier Doug Ford's education campaign promises to maximize classroom learning.
The Ontario Public School Boards' Association did not provide comment Tuesday, but in its submission to the government consultations it had urged the province to continue allowing school boards to make their own decisions.
"Schools and teachers have well established limits and boundaries with regard to cellphone use in schools and the classroom, similar to other classroom expectations, which are designed to create positive learning environments".
"We use technology quite effectively in our classrooms as much as we possibly can".
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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