Earl Grey Senior Public School in east-end Toronto is banning cellphone use in classrooms and hallways.
A letter sent out to parents this week said the middle school is changing its cellphone policy due to growing concerns over its use and the distraction it has posed in classrooms.
Toronto District School Board (TDSB) spokesman Ryan Bird said the ban came about following complaints from parents.
“In general, the phones had become a distraction in class, so the school took steps, in consultation with parents, to reduce and eliminate that issue,” Bird said.
Beginning on Tuesday, cellphones will no longer be allowed in class and texting, photo taking and social media will also be prohibited during the lunch hour.
The school board said students will be allowed to use their mobile devices in class if it is part of the teacher’s lesson plan.
The TDSB instituted a board-wide cellphone ban in schools in 2007 but it was lifted in 2011. Now it is up to individual schools to decide what policy best suits their needs.
“In general, the use of cell phones is left to the discretion of schools or classrooms,” Bird said. “We encourage the use of technology but only when it makes educational sense.”