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Schools Banning Cell Phones in The Classroom


Schools are Banning Cell Phones in the Classroom

Elementary, Middle and High Schools in the USA and Internationally 

This list (first international schools followed by US schools) covers bans of cell phones that occurred after the schools found cell phones in classrooms to be distracting and problematic. It is not necessarily because of the radiofrequency and health issues. This is not a complete list but rather a running list of bans EHT noted in 2017 and will update as we receive updates.   Hyperlinks go to the news article or source. 

If you know of more schools with cell phone bans, please send the information to and we will update this list. 

France: Cell Phones totally banned in schools for students up to 14  years old. The ban includes hallways, playgrounds and in between classes.  Read more about French policy here and read the 2017 news article in Le Monde  “No More Phones in Schools and Colleges here” here. The policy will be in place by September 2018.

China:  Shandong province: Cell Phones banned in primary and middle schools due to increasing myopia among children.

“Primary and middle school students in Shandong province will not be allowed to use cellphones or tablets in classrooms starting from Nov 1, according to a new regulation.” Asia One “China bans mobile phones in classrooms” October 10, 2018

UK: Secondary schools are introducing strict new bans on mobile phones 

  • “From September pupils aged 11 to 16 who own phones at the schools will be required either to hand them in or put them in their lockers when they arrive for registration and only get them back when they leave in the afternoon.The sea-change in approach coincides with an appeal last week by culture secretary Matthew Hancock in The Daily Telegraph for schools to ban smart phones during the school day. It comes as this newspaper campaigns for a legal duty of care to protect children from digital harms.”
  • Read Telegraph article July 2018 Matt Hancock: schools across the UK should ban mobile phones The GuardianJun 19, 2018
    Northern Echo UK:  Ofsted chief backs calls to ban mobile phones in schools, June 2018 News. 

    • The head of Ofsted has thrown her weight behind head teachers who ban mobile phones from their schools in a bid to crackdown on naughty behaviour. In a speech today, Amanda Spielman is expected to say that the place of smartphones in the classroom is “dubious at best”.



The King’s School in North Parramatta, Sydney, placed a ban on all electronic devices during school hours.

New South Wales Australia has banned cell phones until high school. “Public primary schools will enforce a mobile phone ban from next year as part of the New South Wales Government’s plan to reduce online bullying and unnecessary distraction.”

The whole country is considering a ban after experts recommended action. After a 14-year-old student commit suicide because of cyberbullying, Education Minister Simon Birmingham told local media that “there’s almost no reason students shouldn’t have their phones switched off and in their lockers while they’re at school.”

September 2018 “Education experts call for mobile phone ban for primary schools following French move...AUSTRALIAN experts have called for a blanket ban on mobile phones in primary schools after France outlawed the devices”

Daily Mail Australia’s top private schools ban mobile phones – to reduce stress in the classroom

  • A number of Australia’s top private schools have banned mobiles in classrooms
  • Schools have said devices affect concentration and stress levels of students
  • Reduced memory and a skewed view of reality are other reasons for the ban  

Israel: Cell Phones were BANNED in  Israel School Classrooms in 2016. Read more here.

Ghana: Cell Phones were banned years ago but the ban might be lifted as of 2018. 

Rwanda: The Ministry of Education has banned cell phone use by students in primary and secondary schools.

New Zealand: Auckland school bans phones – and students are happy about it


2019: Ontario Canada:  Personal  Mobile Devices banned during instructional times for elementary and middle classrooms.

2018: Ontario’s education Minister Lisa Thompson announced a new policy on Tuesday, after a year of consultations. BBC Canada province to ban mobile phones in public classrooms

“Central Middle School —  in the Greater Victoria School District — ban on smartphones” news article states

  • Staff members are also behind the policy, Macintosh said, and have been expressing support in the staff room.“They’re coming in and saying: ‘This is fantastic — my phone isn’t on my mind all day.’ ”


Victoria-  state primary and secondary schools bans phones during school hours, 2019

“Mobile phones will be banned from Victorian state primary and secondary schools under strict new rules aimed at tackling cyber bullying and distractions in the classroom.

The Victorian government has adopted one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools and from the start of next year, students must switch off their devices and store them in lockers during school hours.”

NSW review may ban smart phones in schools. June 2018

  • Smart phones could be banned across NSW schools as part of a state review on the use of the devices following parent concerns and the rise of cyberbullying.
  • Education Minister Rob Stokes ordered the review on Thursday into the use of technological devices in schools, which will be led by prominent child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. “While smartphones connect us to the world in ways never imagined just a decade ago, they raise issues that previous generations have not had to deal with,” Mr Stokes said in a statement. “In the classroom and in the playground, smartphones provide opportunities for students and parents to stay connected, but can also create other problems. “From screen time, to cyberbullying and social media, smartphones have generated concerns for parents, teachers and students. Schools need to have better rules in place around phones.”

Uganda: Cell Phones banned in schools in 2013

  • “Ministry of Education bans mobile phones in schools” 
    The ministry of education has banned the use of mobile phones in schools. Education and sports Minister, in a statement, said her Ministry maintains the position that no student shall be allowed to possess a mobile phone in school for whatever reason

Serbia: School in Serbia’s Nis city has banned mobile phones. News article “TRT World’s Milivoje Pantovic reports from Serbia” 12/26/2018


Fairfax Virginia School District: Phones and Digital Devices Turned Off During School Day. 
“All electronic devices to include, but not limited to, phones, smart watches, airpods, tablets, etc., must be powered off and kept away for the duration of the school day in student-assigned lockers.  Electronic devices may be used on campus before the 7:30AM bell and after the 2:15PM bell each school day.  The use of social media, taking/posting pictures, playing games, and other technology features are not allowed during the school day.”  Read a Middle School Announcement
San Mateo High School California: Phone free for students bell to bell in 2019. “San Mateo High School goes phone-free, largest public school in the country to do it” 2019 News report. 
The Hollister Elementary School District Board  California: Bans cell phone-use by students on campus. Students will be required to turn off their cell phones before setting foot at the district’s elementary and middle schools. Read Hollister District Bans Phones.

Forest Hills district, Michigan.  Students won’t be allowed to use their phones but can keep them in their lockers. The district says it’s “clear that excessive exposure to cellphones has a negative effect” on kids. WXYZ News “A school district in Michigan is banning cellphones”

Bexley City Schools, Ohio:   The classroom ban will include phones, smartwatches, headphones and other potentially-distracting devices.

District U46 Chicago: “Middle and high school students in School District U46 will not have access to their cellphones during class time next school year, the district announced this week.With the 2018-19 school year at an end, U46 announced a cellphone ban from the classrooms for 2019-20 and will install $15 cellphone holders in nealry 1,000 middle school and high school classrooms.” District U46 to ban cellphone use in class beginning in the fall

Maryvale, New York: “Maryvale middle and high school students won’t be able to have cellphones in class. They’ll have to leave their phone in their lockers all day.WNY school to require students to keep cell phones in lockers at all times.”

 Cleburne District, Texas: In the student handbooks for Cleburne High School, Smith and Wheat middle schools and all the elementary campuses, the district permits students to have personal “mobile devices,” but they must remain turned off during the instructional day, including during all testing unless they are being used for approved instructional purposes.

Oconomowoc High School, Milwaukee: Students can no longer have their cellphone in the classroom  unless authorized by a teacher. Read “Three things to know about changes to Oconomowoc High School’s student cellphone policy”

Seymor High School, Connecticut : Seymour High School Reports Positive Results After Cell Phone Ban, NBC Connecticut-Jan 31, 2018
  • Read an article about the ban- US School: Student Grades, Focus Improve After Cellphone Ban SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) — Students at a Connecticut high school are reporting higher grades and more focus in the classroom since the school instituted a blanket ban on cellphone use. Seymour High School Principal Jim Freund said the school banned cellphones Dec. 11 following instances of “mean spirited behavior” through text messages and social media.
Wausau East High School in Wausau, WI has banned cell phone use in classrooms to improve the learning environment. Read it here. 
Ten schools/school districts in Southeastern Wisconsin ban cell phone use in class to improve the learning environment and social interaction (Germantown High School, Menomonee High School, School District of Waukesha, Kenosha Unified School District, Racine Unified School District, Milwaukee Public Schools, Pewaukee School District, Mequon-Thiensville School District, Whitefish Bay School District, Nicolet High School)Read the CBS Report here. Districts across the state of Wisconsin are banning cell phone use in classrooms, reports Education Week

Mansfield City Schools, Ohio, USA, July 2017 News article “Ohio school district bans student cell phone use.”

  • The first of the two new policies bans use of cell phones or other personal communication devices not only in the classroom but also before and after school, at lunch and in between classes. Unless approved by a teacher or administrator, the devices must be “powered completely off” and stored out of sight.

 Portage High in Wisconsin USA: Read the 2017 news article: Portage High bans cellphones | Principal: Policy will be a challenge for everyone and Cellphone ban at Portage High School showing positive impact

Highland Middle School, Illinois USA  Middle schools ban smartphones so students build social smarts

Collinsville IL Middle School, Illinois USA: Read “Metro-east middle school bans students from using cellphones”

Paris Maine Schools News article: Local school implements new cell phone ban

Framington Massachusetts, USA Framingham Middle Schools Ban Cell Phones For 2017-18 School Year

Lakeview High School in Battle Creek  Michigan. Read the 2016  News article, Michigan high school bans cell phones in class

Lewiston Middle School Maine USA, Read  Lewiston Middle School bans student cell phone use and also Lewiston Middle School Principal answers your questions about cell phone ban.

Corona Del Mar Middle School in Newport-Mesa Unified School District California USA 2017 News article, “At Corona del Mar Middle School, kids can’t use cellphones at lunch. The result? They talk.” Old Rochester Regional High School: Massachusetts high school bans cell phones from classrooms


The above US bans are not related to cell phone radiation issues but instead- the way that cell phones disrupt educations.

Read more about US Schools reducing wireless radiation and schools internationally taking action. 

Read about PTAs and Unions Taking action on wireless. 

Read about Firefighters taking action on cell towers.