B.C. school bans cellphones during instructional time

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Island school enacts rules to limit phone use'
Vancouver Island school enacts rules to limit phone use
Langford's Belmont Secondary is eliminating phone use in classrooms, with students only allowed to use their phones outside of class time. Kylie Stanton reports on what the change will mean for students and staff. – Sep 5, 2023

Students returning to the classroom at one Victoria-area school are facing new stricter rules over cellphone use.

Teens at Langford’s Belmont Secondary School have a choice — they can leave their phone in their bag or locker, or place it in a phone holder when they enter the classroom.

The school said in a statement that there are no restrictions on cellphone use outside of instructional time. Teachers can also schedule technology breaks.

“We don’t multitask very well and being distracted by something on your phone, I mean, we don’t let people drive when they’re on their phone, so how are they going to participate in a classroom activity?” said Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater, a UVic psychology professor emeritus.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

In 2019, the Ontario government enacted a province-wide ban on cellphone use in classrooms, while Quebec’s education minister is drafting a new directive to do the same.

Story continues below advertisement

But B.C.’s education minister says in this province, those decisions will be left to individual teachers or schools.

Click to play video: 'Should cell phones be banned in schools?'
Should cell phones be banned in schools?

Experts argue that technology isn’t going anywhere and the best way to deal with that is through education.

“Unfortunately, when we think about bans, we don’t ban these in post-secondary classrooms, we don’t ban this in our workplaces – so how is it that we expect kids to flip a switch?” Jesse Miller with Mediated Reality told Global News.

“And if we’re not prepared to do that as adults, they shouldn’t be prepared to do it as young learners.”

Sponsored content