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Local secondary school teachers skeptical about classroom cellphone ban

The controversial cellphone ban goes into effect starting today
cell phone
(Mark Pare/

Cellphones are banned from classrooms across Ontario starting today.

The new rule says students can only use their cellphones if it is part of the day's educational directive, for medical or health purposes or for special needs.

Rob Gascho President of Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation (OSSTF) in Waterloo says he's not sure if the province-wide ban will change much in local classrooms.

"I think everyone acknowledges that there are some distractions in the classroom. But I'm not sure that telling students that they have to put them away because Doug Ford says so is going to make any difference to what we're dealing with and trying to manage keeping kid's attention away from them in the classroom."

Gascho says the cellphone ban policy is a distraction from the real issues affecting local classrooms.

"The government keeps talking about how they keep doing this huge consultation with parents. One of the things parents said is - 'yeah, cellphones are distracting in class,' everybody knows that already. What we're really wondering is, why aren't you releasing those results? You say you did this huge consultation. I think it's because they heard massively from people that they don't want to see class sizes increased and frankly they don't want that message out there in the public right now."

He says teachers are already working on keeping students focused on their schoolwork, and many schools already have their own policies regarding cellphone use.


Aastha Shetty

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