The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario has updated its policy position on the student use of personal electronic devices, preferring for them to be turned off and put away unless a teacher says otherwise.

That policy, which was amended at the union's annual general meeting, informs ETFO in its discussions with the government and school boards on related issues.

A portion of that policy now states that such devices, which include cellphones, should "be stored and turned off during the instructional day unless their use is directly authorized by staff."

In a separate resolution, ETFO voted to study the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, the potentially harmful radiation emitted by cellphones. A report is due on the matter in February.

Health Canada has said that the majority of research to date does not support a link between exposure and poor health.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that ETFO had voted to ban the use of cellphones in classrooms. In fact, the union updated its policy on the use of personal electronic devices in the classroom.
    Aug 18, 1970 3:16 AM ET