French lawmakers passed a sweeping bill on Monday that effectively bans the use of smartphones and tablets in French school systems, we learned via The Washington Post.
The French Parliament voted overwhelmingly (62-1) on Monday to ban smartphones and personal tablets from schools.
France already restrained students from using smartphones and personal tablets during instruction hours since 2010, but the new ban prohibits students aged 3 to 15 from even bringing their devices to school.
Students in France aren’t the only ones being told to curtail their phone use. The country now says drivers can no longer use mobile devices even when the car is parked, or engine is turned off.
Before this policy became law, French students were barred from using smartphones and tablets during classroom hours but could use them between classes. And even though this new law bans smart devices outright, the wording does make exceptions for educational use, extracurricular activities, and for students with disabilities.
Those opposed to the ban previously cited the logistical problems of storing phones, and suggested signal jamming as a possible alternative. But experts fear excessive mobile phone use and the allure of the internet may be fuelling cyber-addiction, sleep disruption and bullying.
Speaking with LCI News, France’s Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer argued mobile phones might be a “technological advance,” but they should not “monopolize our lives.”
It’s not the first time the country has limited the use of technology in everyday life, either. Last year, it’s government passed another law that required French companies to draft rules that would limit work emails and the ‘right to disconnect’ outside of the office – aiming to reduce job-related stress.