A middle school in the city’s east end is banning cellphones from all classrooms and hallways amid concerns that the devices were becoming a “major distraction.”

TDSB Spokesperson Ryan Bird says the ban will go into effect at Earl Grey Senior Public School on Tuesday. Once in place, the ban will require that students keep their phones in their lockers and not have them on their person while in class.

“After hearing concerns from parents and staff the principal went to school council to say ‘Look, we have to further restrict the use of cell phones they are becoming a distraction.’ There was some inappropriate use, people were texting during class and they were becoming a larger distraction than before,” Bird told CP24 on Friday morning. “This should reduce the major distraction that it has become in the within the classroom.”

Bird says that cellphones may be allowed in the classroom for some particular lessons, where they may serve an educational purpose, but only with the permission of the teacher.

He said that there are examples of some schools that ban cellphones in the classroom but conceded that this may be the first ban on cellphones in classrooms and hallways. Bird, however, said that the ban is not likely to be implemented board-wide.

“When it comes to cellphones, we leave it up to individual schools and individual classrooms,” he said.