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Ontario to Crackdown on Cellphone Use and Vaping in Schools

North York – In a bid to foster focused learning environments and prioritize student well-being, Ontario has rolled out an ambitious plan to tackle classroom distractions and address health concerns associated with vaping. The Ministry of Education’s latest initiative, announced today, encompasses stringent measures to curb cellphone use and ban vaping within school premises.

Under the new guidelines, students in kindergarten through Grade 6 will be mandated to keep their phones on silent and out of sight for the entirety of the school day, except when explicitly permitted by educators. For students in Grades 7 to 12, the use of cellphones during class time will be strictly prohibited unless authorized by teachers.

Moreover, to further minimize distractions, social media websites will be removed from school networks and devices. This move aims to create an environment conducive to learning, where students can fully engage with academic material without the lure of online distractions.

In addition to addressing digital distractions, the plan also targets the prevalence of vaping among youth. Ontario is set to implement a ban on vaping in all schools, with students caught in possession of vaping products required to surrender them immediately. Parents will be promptly notified of any such incidents, underlining the government’s commitment to safeguarding student health.

Commenting on the initiative, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, emphasized the importance of restoring focus and common sense to Ontario schools. “Our policy is ‘out of sight and out of mind’ when it comes to cellphones,” he stated, underscoring the government’s dedication to creating distraction-free learning environments.

The comprehensive plan also includes significant investments in mental health and parent engagement supports, totaling $17.5 million. This funding will provide essential resources for students at risk of addictive behaviors and facilitate educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness about the adverse effects of vaping and excessive cellphone usage.

In response to the announcement, Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, praised the government’s proactive stance in protecting children and youth from the harmful risks of vaping. Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the detrimental impact of vaping on youth health.

While the initiative has garnered support from various quarters, including healthcare organizations and government officials, it has also sparked discussions about the balance between regulating distractions and promoting digital literacy among students. Critics argue that while minimizing distractions is crucial, education about responsible digital citizenship should remain a priority.

As Ontario moves forward with its back-to-basics approach, the implementation of these measures is poised to shape the future of education in the province, with a renewed focus on student well-being and academic success.


The Ontario government’s comprehensive plan to reduce classroom distractions and address the health risks associated with vaping represents a significant step towards creating conducive learning environments for students. By cracking down on cellphone use and implementing a ban on vaping in schools, the government aims to prioritize student focus and safety.

However, as we navigate these changes, it’s essential to strike a balance between minimizing distractions and fostering digital literacy among students. While restricting access to certain websites and devices can enhance learning environments, education about responsible digital citizenship is equally crucial. By equipping students with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape responsibly, we can empower them to make informed choices and utilize technology as a tool for learning and growth.

As this initiative unfolds, ongoing dialogue and collaboration between educators, parents, and policymakers will be key to ensuring that the needs of students are met effectively, while also promoting a culture of digital responsibility and awareness in Ontario schools.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at

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