France bans smartphones in schools

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French students returning to school in September will have to leave their smartphones at home after politicians have voted to ban them from campus. 

Students in France have brought their smartphones to school for years. They shut them off during class and fired them up during breaks to stay connected.

Now, French lawmakers are pulling the plug and banning the use of smartphones, smartwatches and tablets anywhere on school grounds. 

“Students no longer play football in the playground; they prefer to watch their smartphones and this can create problems with learning,” Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said.

The new law impacts children as three and as old as 15. The teacher’s union is skeptical the ban can be enforced. High schools will be able to choose whether to comply, and expectations can be made for disabled students and extracurricular activities. 

Critics argue technology is a crucial teaching tool, and can spark a child’s interest. Many French lawmakers refused to vote on the ban, calling it a political display that would not change anything.

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