Education, ICT - France Bans Mobiles At School
Concerns over privacy threats and distracted kid prompted French lawmakers to introduce a ban on mobile phones in public schools.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer called it "a law for the 21st century, a law for addressing the digital revolution".
"It's a signal to French society of the stakes for our society," he said in parliament, "Being open to technologies of the future doesn't mean we have to accept all their uses."
This would fulfill a campaign promise from President Emmanuel Macron, who said he'd outlaw children's phones in nursery, primary, and middle schools. A 2010 law already banned phone in classrooms, but the new legislation extends that to school playgrounds or anywhere else on school premises, even during breaktimes.
But critics say it has no teeth, because there is no punishment and teachers would not be empowered to confiscate phones from kids caught texting when they should be taking notes. It would require primary middle schoolers to keep their phones in backpacks or otherwise out of sight, which teh critics say would allow students to scroll through social media or swap Snapchats while pretending to rummage through their backpacks.
And Left-wing lawmaker Herve Saulignac pointed out that, while MPs wrung their hands over kids being addicted to their smartphones, scores of lawmakers were sitting through the session absentmindedly tapping away on their own phones.