France bans smartphones in schools

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France reportedly passed a smartphone ban in schools on Monday.

The ban, which is scheduled to go into effect in September, prohibits the use of smartphones in schools for students between the ages of 3 and 15 years of age, CNN reported.

{mosads}Schools with students older than 15 years of age can choose whether to impose the ban, which will also apply to other internet-connected devices, like tablets.

“We know today that there is a phenomenon of screen addiction, the phenomenon of bad mobile phone use. … Our main role is to protect children and adolescents. It is a fundamental role of education, and this law allows it,” Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said of the ban on French news channel BFMTV.

The ban, which was passed in a 62-1 vote among lawmakers in France, fulfills one of President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign pledges. Macron previously said he would ban children’s use of mobile phones at school during his campaign, according to BBC.

Some lawmakers critical of the ban say the legislation won’t change much.

“This isn’t a 21st century law in our eyes, but a law from the era of news channels and binary debate,” said Alexis Corbière, a deputy from the left-wing Unbowed France party, in a quote obtained by CNN.

“In reality, the ban has already been made,” Corbière continued, referring to a law approved in 2010 that banned the use of smartphones “during all teaching activity.”

“I don’t know a single teacher in this country that allows the use of phones in class,” he added.


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