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Local public school board doesn't support cell phone ban

14 March 2019

Would you be for or against a cellphone ban in schools across Western New York? Results found that 97 per cent of respondents wanted some sort of control over cellphone use in class.

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.

Toronto tried banning cellphones, but found enforcing it to be extremely hard and would impair students from varied learning experiences.

It's not clear exactly how the directive would look, but the government will leave it up to school boards in how they enforce a ban in their schools.

"Beginning next school year, cellphones will no longer be allowed in the classroom unless they are required for educational purposes, health, and medical purposes, or to support special needs", says Thompson.

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

"Teachers see the value of technology as an enhancement to learning and they are using it pretty powerfully, but we also see teachers and principals making judgments where to pull back", he said.

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He said: "I see it like all the boys see it in dressing room and everybody who sees it with us, it is a big night". The second half I was really happy by how mature the performance was, how strong we looked, how good we defended.

The impending cellphone ban was initially proposed by the Progressive Conservative party as part of their platform during last year's election campaign.

Spokesman Ryan Bird said the TDSB encourages appropriate uses of technology in classrooms.

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.

This isn't the first time such a ban has been in place.

The reason is the claim that cell phones are a distraction in class, and without them students will focus on the lesson being taught. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

According to the study's findings, "this suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-priced policy to reduce educational inequalities".

"We're certainly not anxious about cellphones being used for instructional purposes - that's a really great thing", she said.

Local public school board doesn't support cell phone ban