New legislation in France has officially banned the use of smartphones in schools around the country. President Emmanuel Macron argued this policy during his election campaign and he will soon see his views in effect. The concern is a matter of public health and French kids have been categorized as ‘super-connected’. A new statistic says that 90% of kids from ages 12-17 have access to smartphones. The ban aims to disconnect the youth.
According to statista.com, 77% of the smartphones in France are Androids. The ban will most likely affect smartphone sales.
“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,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, the Education Minister, on French news BFMTV.
“This isn’t a 21st-century law in our eyes, but a law from the era of news channels and binary debate,” said Alexis Corbiére, a former teacher who is a part of the Unbowed France party.
The Agence France-Presse, an international news agency, reported that a ban has already been in place since 2010 prohibiting students from using their cell phones during school hours. The new ban prohibits the possession of all phones.
The ban may act as a trial run for other countries that are thinking of adopting a similar legislation. Randi Weingarten, the president of the U.S. American Federation of Teachers, stated that cell phones are “an essential safety and security tool” for students. For now, the U.S. is skeptical of this kind of policy regarding school safety.