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INSIDE THE VILLAGE: What you really need to know about school cellphone 'ban'

This week on the podcast: The Ford government has announced a 'comprehensive' crackdown on student cellphone use. We ask a leading expert if the new rules will actually make a difference

Welcome back to Inside the Village, a one-of-a-kind podcast where all news is local — and no topic is off-limits.

On this week's episode: Classrooms unplugged?

Last weekend, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced a province-wide crackdown on student cellphone use in schools. "We need to be bold," he told reporters. "We need to be comprehensive. And we need to act with urgency today."

According to the new rules, which will take effect in September, kids in kindergarten to Grade 6 will be required to keep phones on silent and out of sight for the entire day. Students in Grade 7 and up won’t be allowed to use phones during class time.

Lecce said Ontario will also be the first province to block access to all social media platforms on school networks and devices.

Will the ban work? Are the new rules actually any different than what’s already in place at many schools across Ontario? We ask Sachin Maharaj, a University of Ottawa education professor who has spent a lot of time researching the impact of cellphones in schools.

If you're a parent, this episode is definitely a must-watch.

Also on the podcast this week: a powerful story about a Collingwood cancer patient who chose to die on her own terms. If you haven't read this article yet, you can find it HERE.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is can be found HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

Have something to say? You can reach us at [email protected].

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