Ontario Cracking Down on Cellphone Use and Banning Vaping in Schools

After landing deals with all teachers’ unions, we are keeping kids in class learning as we go back-to-basics.

Stability in the classroom is key, and we must take further action to tackle the distractions that are holding kids back. 

Cellphone usage is rampant in schools, distracting children from learning and amplifying bullying andmental health issues. It is also unacceptable that Canadian youth have one of the highest vaping rates in the world. The time for action is now. 

That is why our government unveiled the most comprehensive plan in Canada to reduce distractions in classrooms and improve the health of children by standardizing and strengthening provincial policies to directly counter the rise of vaping and cellphone distractions in classrooms. 

Ontario’s plan includes key changes to the Provincial Code of Conduct that prohibits cellphone usage by students during instructional times, unless given explicit instructions by their educator. Students who do not abide by their educator’s instructions must give up their device or be sent to the principal’s office. 

Furthermore, there is zero-tolerance for vapes, tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, recreational cannabis, or illegal drugs. These items must be surrendered by the student, along with parents being notified immediately.

Our government is investing $17.5 million (2024-25) in wrap-around supports for student mental health. This new funding will include:

  • $1 million to partner with School Mental Health Ontario to develop webinars and resources for parents and students across the province to learn about the adverse effects of vaping and excessive cellphone usage and addictive behaviours and responses 
  • $1.5 million for Parent Involvement Committees to run local awareness and prevention campaigns to help deter vaping and cellphone distractions in schools
  • In addition, we formally announced $30 million over three years from Budget 2024, to help equip schools with security upgrades, including vape detectors.

These changes and investments are part of the government’s comprehensive plan to go back-to-basics by removing distractions in classrooms