Phones have been a problem for school teachers and administrators for the better part of a decade. Students having their own smartphone from a middle school age has become increasingly common, and it can cause disruption in school, especially if students are constantly using social media in class.
France seems to be taking a serious approach to dealing with the issue. The country has enacted a “ban” on smartphones that will be enforced starting with the coming school year.
France Smartphone Ban
Students who are under 15 will be required to leave their smartphones at home or turn them off during the school day. There will be serious consequences for students who do not follow this policy.
Beyond the age of 15, it will be up to the school. They are free to determine their own policies on older students’ smartphones. Some schools may apply the same ban to older students, while others may take a more relaxed approach.
Complete Electronics Restrictions
The ban is not only for smartphones, but many electronic devices. It includes tablets, computers and any other device that can be used to access the internet.
The only time such devices are permitted is when they are being used for school-related purposes, as directed by teachers. There are exceptions for students who have disabilities too.
The ban may have surprised many on the outside, but it has come as no shock to those who live in France. In fact, the ban was a campaign promise made by the president Emmanuel Macron when he was running for office.
Macron tweeted about the ban, saying that he had fulfilled one of his promises from the campaign.
France is one of the countries that takes a very serious approach to limiting smartphone use. In 2010, the country banned the use of phones will in class “during teaching activity”. There is also a ban on texting in the car, even if the driver is pulled over on the side of the road.
Is the Ban Necessary?
Some in France, particularly on the left wing, believe the ban may not be necessary. They believe that teachers already ban students from using their phones or tablets while they are teaching. If a teacher discovers a student texting or using social media in class, they can take away their phone for the day.
Many believe the ban is more of a show from the government, as opposed to legislation that will make a tangible difference.
But those who are favor of the law believe that students should not be on social media or browsing the internet while they are out of class. People believe that kids are already spending too much time with their devices. With the ban, they will not be able to do so when they are at school for half the day.
It will be interesting to see the impact of this ban in the coming months. Will it make a difference to how kids behave in French schools? Or will people still use their phones stealthily, as they do right now?