Ontario implementing classroom cellphone ban Nov. 4

A provincial ban on classroom cellphone use by students begins Nov. 4.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Thursday that exemptions will be made only for medical, special education or educational purposes.

A recent province-wide consultation found 97% of those who participated believed cellphone use in schools should be restricted in some way, the government says.

The government had previously stated it planned to limit cellphone use in schools and the ban must be enforced by all publicly funded school boards.

The Nov. 4 deadline is a recognition it will take time for all school boards to comply, Lecce said.

An updated Provincial Code of Conduct says students are required to respect the need of others to work in an environment conducive to learning and teaching, “including by ensuring that cellphones and other personal mobile devices are only used during instructional time for educational purposes (as directed by an educator), for health and medical purposes and/or to support special education needs.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) tweeted that the cellphone ban is “another last-minute Conservative announcement about education plans for this school year. The change allegedly results from last year’s consultations. Isn’t it time that this government released the overall results of the education consultations?”