Should cellphones be banned in the classroom?

Montreal residents discuss with Alexa Lavoie the pros and cons of having cellphones banned in classrooms across Quebec.

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Since December 31, a new regulation has been implemented in the school system in the Quebec City region regarding the use of cellphones in classrooms. Mobile phones are now prohibited to reduce the risk of distraction. To support this decision, examples from France and China, where similar measures have already been implemented, are cited.

However, the increased focus on cellphones in class arose after numerous incidents in schools were captured on video by students.

Consider the incident with a male teacher at Trafalgar High School in Oakville wearing giant prosthetic breasts with inappropriate clothing or the teacher in Edmonton, lecturing a Muslim student for missing Pride Day.

There's also the horrific incident in Sainte-Marthe-Sur-Le-Lac, where a teacher can be heard screaming aggressively at the students.

While other examples could be given, all these incidents were made visible due to recording devices like cell phones.

Surprisingly, computers, where people have access to all social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, are not banned from class. This is equally distracting but lacks the recording device to expose the misbehavior of teachers.

Montreal citizens shared their opinions, and most of the people interviewed were in favor of this decision. A teacher who witnesses daily the impact of cellphones on student distraction expressed, "It's a blessing."

Another participant mentioned, 'I believe that students, especially those who have experienced the pandemic, need to focus on the teacher's material with as little distraction as possible,' addressing the cellphone issue.

During the discussion on the topic, I asked them how students can protect themselves from teacher misbehavior. A teacher who acknowledges the presence of bad teachers stated, "Yes, there are also extremist, religious teachers who were very violent towards their students. Well, there are school administrations that let their students and teachers go a bit too far in both cases. I find that school administrations are sometimes too lenient towards these elements."

Another participant added, "It's hard, it's surely difficult." Regarding the recording device, a Montrealer expressed that recording can be a crucial proof element and added, 'Sometimes there are not many resources when you're a student 'against your teacher.'"

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