Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Kingston residents, students react to cellphone ban in Ontario schools

Ontario to ban cellphones in classrooms Ontario Government To Ban All Cellphones From Classrooms Next Year
Kayla Schwartz | 14 March, 2019, 18:23

In an announcement Tuesday, Ontario's Education Minister said mobile phones will not be allowed in school classrooms starting in September which is the beginning of the next school year.

In a statement, Thompson said Ontario's students need to be able to focus on their learning, not their cellphones.

"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. There are expected to be exceptions for teachers who want to use cell phones during the course of their lesson, for students with special needs, and those who have a cell phone to use for medical reasons.

The Ontario provincial government conducted consultations on the cellphone ban previous year, with 97 percent of respondents favoring some sort of restriction on phones in class, according to Thompson. "It's making sure that you create a culture where we know where the boundaries are".

A study conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science concluded that "student performance in high stakes exams significantly increases" with a ban on cellphones.

One of these government sources explained to CTV News, "When the school day starts, the phones go off".

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".

Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction
The 27-year-old Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell on April 19, 2017, with his death ruled a suicide. The district attorney whose office prosecuted Hernandez's case applauded the court's decision.

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.

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.

The move was praised by many, but some say the ban is antiquated and a missed opportunity to teach children about responsible technology use.

"We've always maintained that a student using their own personal devices is good for learning as long as it's not distracting them from their learning and under the guidance of the teacher or staff member in that room", says John Howitt, superintendent of education at GECDSB.

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

Just across the country, a Victoria middle school became the first school in its district to ban cellphones in school when it implemented the policy for the 2018-19 school year. The improvements were largely seen among the students who were normally the lowest achieving.

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