French Children Banned From Using Phones In School After Summer Break

Schoolchildren in France are being hit by a blanket ban on mobile phones as they return following the summer break.

It is an attempt to tackle the spread of violence, bullying and pornography in the country's schools.

The ban will affect all primary and junior schools, and also includes tablets and smart watches, coming into effect from today (Monday 3 September).

It is part of a law brought in by President Emmanuel Macron in July to fulfil an election promise made before he came to power last year.

High schools, which teach students aged between 15 and 18, will also be able to introduce partial or total bans.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

Although the new law has been highly controversial, supporters say the ban will help reduce classroom distraction, help tackle bullying and encourage more physical activity during break time among the 90 percent of the country's 12- to 17-year-olds who have mobile phones.

It is also hoped the ban will prevent children easily accessing violent or pornographic content.

Marie-Caroline Madeleine, a 41-year-old mother dropping her daughter off for middle school in Paris, told the Mail Online: "I think it's a good thing.

"It's a good signal that says 'school is for studying', it's not about being on your phone.

"It's hard with adolescents, you can't control what they see and that's one of the things that worries me as a parent."

French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said it was 'a law for the 21st century' which would help improve discipline among students.

In June, when the law was passing through parliament, he said: "Being open to technologies of the future does not mean we have to accept all their uses."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

But people against the new law have said it is just a PR exercise for the President and added that in reality it will be hard to enforce.

The law does not give direct instructions on how the ban should be implemented, but recommended that phones should be stored in lockers during the day even though some schools do not have them.

Research has showed that in schools where bans are already in place, many students admit to breaking the rules.

The issue of the amount of time children spend on their phones has been an issue for schools across the world in recent years.

In 2015, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio lifted a ban on phones in schools, saying that children should be able to contact their parents for security reasons.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Nathan Standley

Nathan Standley is a freelance journalist and LADBible contributor. He graduated from Durham University with a degree in Anthropology before going on to do a Master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Sheffield. He also writes articles for The Versed and is the Cultural Editor of The Common Sense Network.

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