Schools Banning Cell Phones in The Classroom
Schools are Banning Cell Phones in the Classroom
Elementary, Middle and High Schools in the USA and Internationally
This list (first international schools followed by US schools) covers bans of cell phones that occurred after the schools found cell phones in classrooms to be distracting and problematic. It is not necessarily because of the radiofrequency and health issues. This is not a complete list but rather a running list of bans EHT noted in 2017 and will update as we receive updates. Hyperlinks go to the news article or source.
If you know of more schools with cell phone bans, please send the information to [email protected] and we will update this list.
12/2019 Madrid Spain banned cell phones in all state funded classrooms. Read Telecom paper “Madrid bans smartphone use in classrooms.”
France: Cell Phones totally banned in schools for students up to 14 years old. The ban includes hallways, playgrounds and in between classes. Read more about French policy here and read the 2017 news article in Le Monde “No More Phones in Schools and Colleges here” here. The policy will be in place by September 2018.
- June 7, 2018 Reuters article “France hangs up: new bill would ban cell phones at school”
- September 2018 “CNN France Bans cell phones in elementary and middle school”
China: Shandong province: Cell Phones banned in primary and middle schools due to increasing myopia among children.
“Primary and middle school students in Shandong province will not be allowed to use cellphones or tablets in classrooms starting from Nov 1, according to a new regulation.” Asia One “China bans mobile phones in classrooms” October 10, 2018
UK: Secondary schools are introducing strict new bans on mobile phones
- “From September pupils aged 11 to 16 who own phones at the schools will be required either to hand them in or put them in their lockers when they arrive for registration and only get them back when they leave in the afternoon.The sea-change in approach coincides with an appeal last week by culture secretary Matthew Hancock in The Daily Telegraph for schools to ban smart phones during the school day. It comes as this newspaper campaigns for a legal duty of care to protect children from digital harms.”
- Read Telegraph article July 2018 Matt Hancock: schools across the UK should ban mobile phones The Guardian–Jun 19, 2018
Northern Echo UK: Ofsted chief backs calls to ban mobile phones in schools, June 2018 News.
- The head of Ofsted has thrown her weight behind head teachers who ban mobile phones from their schools in a bid to crackdown on naughty behaviour. In a speech today, Amanda Spielman is expected to say that the place of smartphones in the classroom is “dubious at best”.
10/2019 West Australia Statewide Ban
- Students from kindergarten to Year 6 will not be permitted to have mobile phones in their possession during the school day, while students from Years 7 to 12 must have their phones turned off and kept out of sight. Smart watches must be set to airplane mode. Read news report.
- “Mobile phones will be banned from Victorian state primary and secondary schools under strict new rules aimed at tackling cyber bullying and distractions in the classroom.
- The Victorian government has adopted one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools and from the start of next year, students must switch off their devices and store them in lockers during school hours.”
The King’s School in North Parramatta, Sydney, placed a ban on all electronic devices during school hours.
New South Wales Australia has banned cell phones until high school. “Public primary schools will enforce a mobile phone ban from next year as part of the New South Wales Government’s plan to reduce online bullying and unnecessary distraction.”
The whole country is considering a ban after experts recommended action. After a 14-year-old student commit suicide because of cyberbullying, Education Minister Simon Birmingham told local media that “there’s almost no reason students shouldn’t have their phones switched off and in their lockers while they’re at school.”
September 2018 “Education experts call for mobile phone ban for primary schools following French move...AUSTRALIAN experts have called for a blanket ban on mobile phones in primary schools after France outlawed the devices”
Helena College: high school moves to ban mobile phones. Read news report.
- A number of Australia’s top private schools have banned mobiles in classrooms
- Schools have said devices affect concentration and stress levels of students
- Reduced memory and a skewed view of reality are other reasons for the ban
- Smart phones could be banned across NSW schools as part of a state review on the use of the devices following parent concerns and the rise of cyberbullying.
- Education Minister Rob Stokes ordered the review on Thursday into the use of technological devices in schools, which will be led by prominent child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. “While smartphones connect us to the world in ways never imagined just a decade ago, they raise issues that previous generations have not had to deal with,” Mr Stokes said in a statement. “In the classroom and in the playground, smartphones provide opportunities for students and parents to stay connected, but can also create other problems. “From screen time, to cyberbullying and social media, smartphones have generated concerns for parents, teachers and students. Schools need to have better rules in place around phones.”
Israel: Cell Phones were BANNED in Israel School Classrooms in 2016. Read more here.
Ghana: Cell Phones were banned years ago but the ban might be lifted as of 2018.
- Ghana’s Education Service (GES) banned the use of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools to enable students concentrate more on their studies.
- “Kwanyako SHS authorities destroy 70 mobile phones” The Authorities of the Agona Kwanyako Senior High School have seized and destroyed more than 70 mobile phones and accessories belonging to students for continuous violation of the law.
- June 2018 The New Times “Government outlaws use of cell phones in schools” and “Parents, teachers welcome ban on cell phones in schools”
2019: Ontario Canada: Personal Mobile Devices banned during instructional times for elementary and middle classrooms.
- “Cellphones and Other Personal Mobile Devices in Schools Questions and Answers for Parents and Guardians” by Ontario Ministry of Education. Effective November 4, 2019.
2018: Ontario’s education Minister Lisa Thompson announced a new policy on Tuesday, after a year of consultations. BBC Canada province to ban mobile phones in public classrooms
- Staff members are also behind the policy, Macintosh said, and have been expressing support in the staff room.“They’re coming in and saying: ‘This is fantastic — my phone isn’t on my mind all day.’ ”
Uganda: Cell Phones banned in schools in 2013
- “Ministry of Education bans mobile phones in schools”
The ministry of education has banned the use of mobile phones in schools. Education and sports Minister, in a statement, said her Ministry maintains the position that no student shall be allowed to possess a mobile phone in school for whatever reason
Serbia: School in Serbia’s Nis city has banned mobile phones. News article “TRT World’s Milivoje Pantovic reports from Serbia” 12/26/2018
Message South Kington High School Rhode Island
- Based on the results of a survey we gave to our students, parents, and teachers, observations we have made, and articles we have examined, we are revising our student cell phone usage procedure beginning on January 2, 2020. The key change is this: Students may not use personal electronic devices, such as their smartphones, during class or personal learning time for any purposes. Students may use personal electronic devices in their advisories with teacher permission, as well as in the hallways during passing time, and lunch. Of note is that a study found that the presence of a phone on a desk can lead to a decreased feeling of connectedness and empathy (Misra, S. et al., 2016), which means it can be a distraction to student learning simply by being visible. The change in usage is one we believe will assist our students to focus better during learning time by removing the distractions that come from personal electronic devices being visible or audible. We also believe that it will help us to teach our students when it is appropriate to use their devices and when it is not, which will benefit them after they graduate. We met with all students by grade level over the last two school days to share the updated procedure with them and to explain our reasons for the change.
- Please see the updated procedure linked here: Cell Phone Usage SKHS.pdf
- Misra, S. et al. (2016). The iPhone effect: The quality of in-person social interactions in the presence of mobile devices. Environment and Behavior , 275-298.
Fairfax Virginia School District: Phones and Digital Devices Turned Off During School Day.
Forest Hills district, Michigan. Students won’t be allowed to use their phones but can keep them in their lockers. The district says it’s “clear that excessive exposure to cellphones has a negative effect” on kids. WXYZ News “A school district in Michigan is banning cellphones”
Bexley City Schools, Ohio: The classroom ban will include phones, smartwatches, headphones and other potentially-distracting devices.
District U46 Chicago: “Middle and high school students in School District U46 will not have access to their cellphones during class time next school year, the district announced this week.With the 2018-19 school year at an end, U46 announced a cellphone ban from the classrooms for 2019-20 and will install $15 cellphone holders in nealry 1,000 middle school and high school classrooms.” District U46 to ban cellphone use in class beginning in the fall
Maryvale, New York: “Maryvale middle and high school students won’t be able to have cellphones in class. They’ll have to leave their phone in their lockers all day.WNY school to require students to keep cell phones in lockers at all times.”
Cleburne District, Texas: In the student handbooks for Cleburne High School, Smith and Wheat middle schools and all the elementary campuses, the district permits students to have personal “mobile devices,” but they must remain turned off during the instructional day, including during all testing unless they are being used for approved instructional purposes.
Oconomowoc High School, Milwaukee: Students can no longer have their cellphone in the classroom unless authorized by a teacher. Read “Three things to know about changes to Oconomowoc High School’s student cellphone policy”
- Read an article about the ban- US News.com School: Student Grades, Focus Improve After Cellphone Ban SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) — Students at a Connecticut high school are reporting higher grades and more focus in the classroom since the school instituted a blanket ban on cellphone use. Seymour High School Principal Jim Freund said the school banned cellphones Dec. 11 following instances of “mean spirited behavior” through text messages and social media.
Mansfield City Schools, Ohio, USA, July 2017 News article “Ohio school district bans student cell phone use.”
- The first of the two new policies bans use of cell phones or other personal communication devices not only in the classroom but also before and after school, at lunch and in between classes. Unless approved by a teacher or administrator, the devices must be “powered completely off” and stored out of sight.
Portage High in Wisconsin USA: Read the 2017 news article: Portage High bans cellphones | Principal: Policy will be a challenge for everyone and Cellphone ban at Portage High School showing positive impact
Highland Middle School, Illinois USA Middle schools ban smartphones so students build social smarts
Collinsville IL Middle School, Illinois USA: Read “Metro-east middle school bans students from using cellphones”
Paris Maine Schools News article: Local school implements new cell phone ban
Framington Massachusetts, USA Framingham Middle Schools Ban Cell Phones For 2017-18 School Year
Lakeview High School in Battle Creek Michigan. Read the 2016 News article, Michigan high school bans cell phones in class
Lewiston Middle School Maine USA, Read Lewiston Middle School bans student cell phone use and also Lewiston Middle School Principal answers your questions about cell phone ban.
Corona Del Mar Middle School in Newport-Mesa Unified School District California USA 2017 News article, “At Corona del Mar Middle School, kids can’t use cellphones at lunch. The result? They talk.” Old Rochester Regional High School: Massachusetts high school bans cell phones from classrooms
The above US bans are not related to cell phone radiation issues but instead- the way that cell phones disrupt educations.
Read about PTAs and Unions Taking action on wireless.
Read about Firefighters taking action on cell towers.