Ontario Implements Strict School Policies to Curb Phone and Social Media Use

Ontario’s educational authorities introduce strict new rules prohibiting the use of phones and social media in schools to minimize distractions.

On April 29, sources indicated that on the previous day, Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education in Canada, introduced a set of “more rigorous” regulations for local schools, including a prohibition on the use of mobile phones and social media by students on school premises.

This prohibition is a component of a “Back to Basics” initiative aimed at minimizing classroom distractions. Provincial leaders describe this initiative as Canada’s “most thorough” strategy to decrease classroom interruptions and enhance the welfare of children.

The specifics of the prohibition are as follows:

  1. Students from kindergarten to sixth grade must keep their mobile phones turned off and hidden during school hours unless they receive specific approval from their teacher.
  2. Students in grades seven through twelve are prohibited from using their cell phones during school hours without direct permission from their teacher.
  3. Access to social media platforms will be blocked on all school networks and devices.
  4. The student’s record will note their distractibility during classes.
  5. The administration will require teachers to undergo compulsory training and will offer additional support to students and parents to help them adapt to these new standards.

These new rules are set to be implemented at the start of the next academic year in September 2024.

If students are caught using mobile phones during lessons, teachers are authorized to seize the devices for the duration of the class. Persistent disregard for the rules after multiple warnings may lead to suspension from school.

Furthermore, reports suggest that schools in several major Canadian cities are taking legal action against social media companies, claiming that platforms like Facebook harm the mental health and learning capabilities of children.

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The legal actions against Meta, TikTok’s parent company Bytedance, and Snap Inc. claim that these firms intentionally design products that are addictive, leading to disruptions in the classroom and increasing risks of sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

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Deepanker Verma is a well-known technology blogger and gadget reviewer based in India. He has been writing about Tech for over a decade.

Ontario Implements Strict School Policies to Curb Phone and Social Media Use

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