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France Says No Phones In School

Paris, France —(Map)

When school starts in France in September, there will be a big change for students. They will not be allowed to have cell phones at any time during the school day.

On July 30, the French government decided that students between the ages of three and 15 will not be allowed to use their phones at school. Using phones during class time is already against the rules in France. The new law says that students must leave their phones at home or have them turned off for the full school day. This includes break times, such as lunch and recess.

Teen with backpack uses phone while leaning against radiator.
French students must leave their phones at home or turn them off during the school day.
This includes break times, such as lunch and recess.
(Source: David Kennedy , via Unsplash.com.)

The law is one that French President Emmanuel Macron promised when he was running for president. Jean-Michel Blanquer is in charge of education in France. He told the newspaper The Telegraph, “These days the children don’t play at break time anymore, they are just all in front of their smartphones and…that’s a problem.”

Jean-Michel Blanquer
Jean-Michel Blanquer is in charge of education in France.
He thinks it’s important for students to have time away from their phones.
(Source: Jérémy Barande Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay, WikimediaCommons.org.)

People who support the law say that it’s better for children. They worry that kids have a hard time stopping themselves from using their phones too much. They also think not having phones at school will cut down on cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is when people say mean things or tease other people over social media  using their phones.

Student texting while teacher writes on board.
Some people simply want to make sure that students can pay attention in class.
When some schools stopped letting students use phones, students’ scores got better.
(Source: giovannacco, via Pixabay.com.)

Supporters of the law also simply want to make sure that students are able to pay attention in class. Some scientists have shown that after schools stopped allowing their students to use cell phones, the students’ test scores got better.

But many people are not happy about the changes. Many teachers are upset because they don’t want to have to control their students’ phones. Some parents want to be able to get in touch with their children during the school day.

And, of course, many students don’t like it because they won’t have their phones.

Students using tablets as part of a lesson.
It’s still okay to use tablets, computers, or phones for classroom lessons.
Devices are also allowed for students who really need them.
(Source: Waag, via Flickr.com.)

The new law also covers devices such as tablets and computers. But phones, tablets, and computers are allowed if they’re being used for classroom lessons. Devices are also allowed for students who really need them. For example, a student who has trouble seeing might use a tablet to read so that they can make the words bigger and easier to see.

The law is not as strong for French high schools, where students are usually 15 or older. These schools will get to decide whether they want to allow cell phones or not.

Paris, France


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