ontario cell phone ban

Ontario banning phones from classrooms starting this fall

We knew the cell phone ban was coming, but now we know when. 

According to an announcement from the Ontario government, starting November 4, cell phone use in classrooms across the province will be banned.

There are, however, a few exceptions to the rule. 

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said mobile phones can still be used for educational purposes, medical purposes or for special education needs.

“When in class, students should be focused on their studies, not their social media,” Lecce said in a statement Thursday.

“That’s why we are restricting cell phones and other personal mobile devices in the classroom, while making sure technology is available to help students achieve success in the digital economy and modern workforce.”

According to the provincial government, during consultations with parents, students and educators last year, 97 per cent said cellphone use should be restricted in some way.

Following the announcement, the government has released a Questions and Answers list to help guide parents when it comes to the use of cell phones and other personal mobile devices in school.

Marit Stiles, Ontario NDP Education critic, released a statement about the announcement earlier today. 

“Teachers already decide when to ban cell phones in the classroom, and when to use devices as an educational tool," she said. 

"I don’t know why Doug Ford thinks he’s better at being a teacher than actual teachers.” 

Cell phones were once banned in Toronto District School Board schools, but the board reversed it to allow teachers to decide on an individual basis. 

Then, about five months ago, the PC government released a proposal for a province-wide ban on cell phones in classrooms. 

Starting in November, high-schoolers in Ontario will have to face that reality — and to the dismay of many, the decision will no longer reside in the hands of the teachers.

Lead photo by

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