Tech

TVDSB welcomes proposed cellphone ban in Ontario classrooms

TVDSB welcomes proposed cellphone ban in Ontario classrooms

"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.

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. There would be some exceptions to the rule, however, including when teachers want to use phones as part of their lesson, if there is a medical issue and students with special needs.

"We think that teachers have a handle on their classrooms already", Arthur said.

The Toronto District School Board used to have a cellphone ban, but reversed it after four years to let teachers dictate what works best for their classrooms.

"We use technology quite effectively in our classrooms as much as we possibly can".

The Tory government conducted education consultations previous year, and while input on the sex-education curriculum dominated headlines, feedback was also gathered on a potential classroom cellphone ban.

Students would be allowed to bring their phones into the classroom, the government said, but usage would be reserved for educational and emergency situations.

NDP MPP Ian Arthur said his party supports the idea in general but teachers and school boards now have the power to ban cellphones.

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However, it will still be up to individual school boards and schools to determine how to enforce the ban.

"When the school day starts, the phones go off", one senior government source said.

The PCs did propose the ban when they were campaigning a year ago.

However, surveys conducted by the Conservative government found that 97 percent of respondents favored a cellphone ban.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association appears to have a similar statement. "Students do not need to have electronic devices like that in class".

Superintendent Mark Davidson says the sheer number of phones in schools now would make enforcing a ban impossible. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

"There are still fundamentals that teachers aren't able to perform their daily tasks of teaching [to] children because there are so many distractions in the classrooms", Kehoe says.