Ontario Limits Cell Phone Use and Bans Vape Usage

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Ontario Limits Cell Phone Use and Bans Vape Usage

Written by: Lawrence Rodriguez

Lawrence Rodriguez is a youth journalist for FOCUS Media Art Centre

Taking effect in September of this year, Ontario has placed new restrictions on cellphones and vapes across grades from kindergarten to grade 12. This is made due to the outcry made by parents and teachers concerning students' focus and how cell phones and vapes have been proving to be a distraction from their education within classrooms.

“We have heard loud and clear from parents and teachers alike that cell phones in classrooms are distracting kids from learning,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

Starting from kindergarten to grade 6, cellphone use has been ruled as strictly prohibited and must be kept on silent and out of sight for the entire duration of school time, unless permitted by teachers. 

However, from grade 7 to grade 12, cell phones are restricted during normal class time, unless permitted by teachers.

In addition, the government is tightening up in regards to students caught engaging in the use of vapes, cigarettes, and the like. Students caught in possession will have their products seized from them, and parents/guardians will be immediately notified of the situation. To assist in this, the government has officially announced a $30 million portion of the 2024 budget to fund in the installation of vape detectors among other security upgrades to be established in schools.

These initiatives are part of a new support plan for student mental health and parent engagement. This plan invests over $17.5 million in pursuit of these efforts:

  • $15 million to provide support for students at risk of addictive behaviours
  • $1 million to partner with School Mental Health Ontario to develop webinars and resources targeted to parents and students across the province to learn how to talk about the adverse effects of vaping and excessive cellphone usage 
  • $1.5 million to Parent Involvement Committees and students to run local prevention campaigns to help deter vaping and cellphone distractions

These new investments and restrictions are in an effort for students to focus on their education and the needed skills required for success after graduation, and to help minimize distractions from this goal. 

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Video Upload Date: May 10, 2024

FOCUS Media Arts Centre (FOCUS) is a not-for-profit organization that was established in 1990 to counter negative media stereotypes of low income communities and provide relevant information to residents living in the Regent Park area and surrounding communities.

We seek to empower marginalized individuals and under represented communities to have a voice, through the  use of professional training, mentorships and participatory based media practices that enable the sharing of stories, experiences and perspectives on relevant matters and issues. In brief our mandate is to empower marginalized individuals and under-serviced communities to have a voice and tell their own stories.

 

Ontario
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Regent Park (TO)

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