Government cracks down on phones in schools

New rules will make it easier for teachers to control students’ use of phones, said education minister Bill Hogan. (File)

FREDERICTON — The provincial education department is making the rules around cell phones in classrooms stricter and giving teachers more power to control them.

“We have evidence that indicates we should limit cellphone use in classrooms,” education minister Bill Hogan said in a press release. “The clarifications we are making will … (reinforce) the ability of teachers to effectively oversee cellphone use in their classrooms and limit their use to teaching or medical purposes.”

The policy changes mean that at the teacher’s discretion, students can use phones in classrooms for educational reasons. During class time, teachers will have students place their cellphones in a designated area of the classroom on silent mode. Students who use their cellphone for medical reasons, such as diabetes self-management, may continue to use them.

The updated policy will take effect in September.

The Saint Croix Courier