French school students to be banned from using mobile phones

The Guardian is reporting that french school students will be banned from using mobile phones anywhere on school grounds from September, after the lower house of parliament passed what it called a “detox” law for a younger generation increasingly addicted to screens.

The centrist president Emmanuel Macron had promised during his election campaign that he would outlaw children’s phones in nursery, primary and middle-schools, until around the age of 15.

The new law bans phone-use by children in school playgrounds, at breaktimes and anywhere on school premises. Legislation passed in 2010 already states children should not use phones in class.

Some in Macron’s party had initially sought to go even further, arguing that adults should set an example and the the ban should be extended to all staff in schools, making teachers surrender their phones on arrival each morning.

Opposition parties warned that major questions remained about how to enforce the ban, which will affect millions of children. The details of how schools could put the law in place have been left deliberately open.

Politicians estimate that more than 90% of French children aged between 12 and 17 have a phone. Macron’s education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer had previously suggested that children could place their phones in lockers when they arrive at school in the same way that government ministers “place their phone in a box before cabinet meetings”

Read more French school students to be banned from using mobile phones

Should the UK be banning mobiles in school? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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