When French pupils go back to school next month, they will no longer be allowed to use their smartphones or tablets while on school grounds.
A new law that was passed on Monday makes it illegal for children between the age of 3 and 15 years old, to actively use a smartphone while on school grounds, even outside of regular teaching hours.
Children will still be able to bring their smartphones to school, but they will be required to hand them over to a teacher and collect them back at the end of the day. The law was originally part of President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign and was introduced to prevent screen addiction among young people in France.
L’interdiction générale des téléphones portables dans les écoles et les collèges a été définitivement adoptée par l’Assemblée nationale aujourd’hui.
Engagement tenu ✅
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 30, 2018
It is not the first time a law targets the usage of smartphones at school in France. Since 2010, a law already prevented students from using their smartphones during teaching hours. However, the new law goes further and prevents them from using their phones at all, even during meal times or breaks.
The law is causing logistical issues for teachers, who say there is no infrastructure within the schools to securely hold the students’ property.
It is widely accepted that smartphones aid screen-addiction, sleep disruption and cyberbullying. France is the first country to act and implement a crackdown on smartphone usage amongst young people. However, some voices are already pointing out that less smartphone at school will cause even more sleep-depravation as teens will increase their usage after school and late into the night.