The Phony Phone Ban

By Jasmine Miljure

On Monday, November 4th, 2019, a TDSB wide “cellphone ban” was placed in effect. Everyone knows that it’s ridiculous and a waste of time and effort. Why? One reason: nothing happened.

This was, of course, to be expected.

Our first sign was that it was put into effect two months into the school year, instead of at the start, when people actually remembered its existence. If any change was going to be made, it should have been made immediately, before teachers and students fell into a routine. The start of the school year was also when we were hearing and thinking about it. By the time November rolled around, we were all like, “The cellphone ban? Oh yeah, that thing.”

Another reason nothing happened was because the rule literally did not change anything. At all. The new cellphone rule states that the enforcement of the phone ban is up to the individual teacher’s discretion. That has always been the case, the only difference is that the policy on the use of cellphones was phrased differently. Therefore, if a teacher does not approve of cellphone use inside their classroom, they were already prohibiting it, and no changes were made to their routine. Same for if a teacher is more lenient in regards to the use of phones, they also had no changes to make.

Though, it probably is a good thing, this phone ban turned out to be nothing significant, as banning phones altogether is highly unrealistic. Oftentimes, students go on their phones while waiting for class to start. Others may work faster than most, and go on their phones if they finish a task early and have time to spare. Besides, even if they’re not paying attention or doing what they’re supposed to do, at least they’re not bothering the rest of the class. It could be a lot worse; they could be talking or disruptive.

In the end, it comes as no surprise that this whole cellphone ban ordeal was nothing but a fun way to distract from the things that are actually important. It’s also no surprise that zero change was made. Even if new rules were implemented, students who wanted to go on their phones would have done so anyway; teenage rebellion and whatnot.