Poll: Canadians Say No to Cell Phones in Classrooms

  • 55% say cell phones should not be used in classrooms
  • 36% say no cell phone usage in classrooms unless teachers approve

REGINA, SK: New polling released today by SecondStreet.org shows the vast majority of Canadians want some kind of restriction on cell phone use in school classrooms. The poll, conducted by Leger, revealed that 55% of Canadians want a total ban on cell phones in classrooms while 36% think they should only be allowed with a teacher’s permission. Only five per cent thought that there should be unrestricted phone use in schools.

“It’s rare to see such a strong consensus on a particular issue,” said SecondStreet.org Communications Director Dom Lucyk. “It’s clear ‒ whether it’s a total ban or something slightly more permissive, Canadians think cell phones are a distraction and should be restricted in classrooms.”

The poll was conducted from May 3-5 and includes the following highlights:

  • Outright opposition to cell phone usage in classrooms ranged from a low of 48% in B.C. to a high of 68% in Quebec.

  • Opposition to cell phone usage in classrooms – unless teachers approve – ranged from a low of 27% in Quebec to a high of 40% in Alberta and B.C.

  • In Ontario, which recently moved forward with new restrictions on cell phones for the 2024-25 school year, opposition to cell phone use in classrooms was 50% while 39% believe the devices should not be used unless teachers approve.

  • Those aged 18-34 were least likely (37%) to support a ban on cell phone use in classrooms while Canadians over 55+ were most likely to support an outright ban in schools (63%)

Some provinces are or may be moving towards the public consensus. Recently, Ontario’s provincial government announced a policy that combines both approaches – for students in Grade 6 and below, phones will be completely banned, while they will be allowed with a teacher’s permission for Grade 7 and above. Alberta has not committed to a policy yet, but is holding consultations on what to do about cell phones in the classroom.

To see the poll results, including a breakdown by region ‒ click here.

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