Alberta Teachers’ Association passes motion in support of restricting cellphones in class

Over the long weekend, delegates had a chance to voice their concerns about the use of smartphones, as well as overcrowded class sizes.

The Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) passed a motion Saturday in support of restricting smartphones in classrooms during instructional time.

It happened during the ATA’s annual general meeting at a downtown Calgary hotel.

This comes as several jurisdictions have restrictions on the use of cellphones in schools.

Those include the provinces of British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, and countries such as Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom. U.S. states with restrictions include Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont.

The Alberta government launched an online survey to gather more information on cellphone use in schools, which ended on May 3.

Some other key issues discussed in the meeting included the organization’s plea to the province to restore per-student funding to the national average, and their opposition to political party affiliations in school board elections.

According to social media posts on X, some speakers shared the troubles they’ve faced as a result of classroom overcrowding, with one saying their Grade 6 class of 28 students had an academic level ranging from grades K-6.

Another said they were informed that their school of 540 was “overstaffed,” even though they’ve lost two teachers in the last two years who haven’t been replaced.

The motion that “Alberta students deserve better than to have the lowest funded public education system in Canada” passed unanimously.

Policies and the ATA’s budget for the upcoming year are discussed in the general meeting, which is slated to continue through the long weekend.

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