A large majority of Canadians support banning cellphones in public school classrooms in order to reduce distractions in the learning environment.

January 30, 2024

There has been much discussion recently of prohibiting cell phones in classrooms, in order to reduce distractions. Reports from many countries around the world have shown that cellphone bans have had a positive effect on academic performance. When asked if they would support or oppose such a ban in public schools in their province, eight-in-ten Canadian residents say they would support it, with over half completely supporting such a move. Only 15 percent oppose the idea to any extent.

Across the country, support is highest in Quebec (88%) and lowest in BC (74%). Support increases with age, with Gen Z residents being much less likely to support such measures (49%) compared with Millennials (71%), Gen X (81%) or Boomers (90%). Those with children in school are equally likely to support a ban as those without kids in school (both 80%).

When asked why they would support a cell phone ban in public schools, by far the most popular reason given was to remove a distraction in the learning environment, followed by residents who say a ban would encourage students to focus on their studies. In addition, a few each mentioned that a ban would reduce cyberbullying incidents, would reduce use of cell phones as a way of cheating in school, would improve teacher-student engagement, or would promote face-to-face communication.

Among the few who would oppose a cell phone ban in public schools, reasons include that cell phones promote personal responsibility and discipline, provide educational benefits, or that phones allow for parental communication in emergencies.

Results are from an online survey conducted in partnership between Narrative Research and the Logit Group. The survey was conducted between January 8 and 12, 2024 with 1,231 Canadians, 18 years of age or older from the Logit Group’s online Canadian Omnibus. Data were weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect actual population distribution, and data tables are available upon request. 

The questions asked were:

Quebec recently announced a new rule banning cellphones in public classrooms becoming the second Province to implement such a measure, after Ontario, in an effort to reduce distractions.  To what extent do you support or oppose banning cell phones in public school classrooms in your province?

Why do you support / oppose banning cell phones in public school classrooms?

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Chapman, COO & Partner, Narrative Research – 902-493-3834, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca


Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com

Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company is certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services. 

The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented. 

Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative and @LogitGroup

Click here to read as a PDF.