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New Brunswick child and youth advocate suggests schools be cellphone-free zones

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick’s child and youth advocate has suggested that the province join others in Canada in removing cellphones from classrooms.

Kelly Lamrock told a legislative committee last week that cellphone use inhibits students’ ability to analyze and make detailed arguments.

He also attributed cellphone and social media use as one of the reasons for children’s deteriorating mental health.

Lamrock says that in the past five years the number of children in New Brunswick seeking urgent medical care for depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation has gone up between 28 and 40 per cent.

Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario already restrict access to cellphones in schools. 

Other countries such as China and France have banned cellphone use on school grounds, while the United Kingdom, Italy and Portugal have guidelines for principals who want to stop or limit the use of the devices.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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