New Brunswick — Schools in the Picture Province are taking a page from Ontario’s book and finally banning cellphone use in classrooms — but with a few variations on the Ontario plan.
“We’re not dinosaurs; we know that mobile phones are a fact of life in 2019,” said Minister of Education Dominic Cardy. “Trying to tell kids not to use their phones is a bit like telling them not to breathe.
“We’re following Ontario’s lead here — you know, the way we always do — but we’re being more realistic about it. The kids will have to put their phones away in class, except if, like, they’re responding to a sext or they really need to favourite something on Instagram. Or if they want to share a ‘dank meme’ on Facebook, or retweet something awesome the provincial Education minister said. Those types of actions only take a second, and then students can get right back to paying attention to the teacher and learning.”
Teachers, especially in the province’s high schools, find it tough to crack down on students’ phone use — since the teachers themselves are addicted to their phones.
“I try to lead by example. It’s not cool to be constantly glued to your phone in social settings and kids need to learn that when they get older, they can’t just be on their phones in the workplace,” said Grade 11 science teacher Karen Illies, who didn’t once look up from her phone during this interview.
“I get my phone out in class but I try to limit it to super-necessary stuff, like when I’m putting an old handbag up for sale on Facebook Marketplace.”
Illies then took a selfie and posted it to Instagram with that stupid dog-face filter, and typed, “Felt cute today, idk, might delete later.”
We spoke with high school principal Laura Corbett who reiterated the need to lay down the law without coming off as stuffy or out of touch.
“So for example,” she said, “teens can continue to send nudes in class if they see it as absolutely necessary.
“But they can’t actually take the nudes in class. You have to set boundaries or these youths will just run wild.”