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French School Students To Be Banned From Using Mobile Phones (theguardian.com) 136

The lower house of parliament in France has passed what it called a "detox" law for a younger generation increasingly addicted to screens. As a result, French school students will be banned from using mobile phones anywhere on school grounds starting in September. The Guardian reports: The new law bans phone-use by children in school playgrounds, at breaktimes and anywhere on school premises. Legislation passed in 2010 already states children should not use phones in class. During a parliamentary debate, lawmakers from Macron's La Republique En Marche party said banning phones in schools meant all children now had a legal "right to disconnect" from digital pressures during their school day. Some in Macron's party had initially sought to go even further, arguing that adults should set an example and the the ban should be extended to all staff in schools, making teachers surrender their phones on arrival each morning. But Macron's education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, brushed this aside, saying it wasn't necessary to extend the ban to teachers and staff.

French School Students To Be Banned From Using Mobile Phones

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    to pass messages in class.

    • Ah, this is just an underhanded way to bring back the Minitel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel#Minitel_and_the_Internet [wikipedia.org]
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Since it was impossible to use the Minitel in class I don't think this ban is trying to revive a dead technology.
        Although funny as it seems, the Minitel never had all the vulnerabilities of the classic internet with its viruses, malwares, spam etc... since it was a closed system and it god damn worked. It was pricey, you had to time your connection but it just worked. And yeah even stupid people could use it so simple it was. France lost something useful when the Internet killed the Minitel.

    • Sure, if you're naive enough to think the NSA doesn't already have backdoors in all the paper.
  • Sad generation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2018 @09:12PM (#56746836)

    I pass about 8 school grounds (covering all age groups) on the way to work every day for over a decade. I remember it was always kids playing sports, on the swings, running around, etc. The last 5 years it's mostly sitting around and staring at phones.

    I'm so thankful I wasn't raised in this generation.

    • by Peter P Peters ( 5350981 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @09:35PM (#56746930)

      I pass about 8 school grounds (covering all age groups) on the way to work every day for over a decade. I remember it was always kids playing sports, on the swings, running around, etc. The last 5 years it's mostly sitting around and staring at phones.

      I'm so thankful I wasn't raised in this generation.

      My grandparents said the same thing. They used to ride horses to school and go fishing at lunchtime. We were slackers that bludged along on those new fangled bicycle thingies and simply ran around a field with a ball at lunch instead of having real fun. Nothing good would ever come from that apparently...

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Well compared to them we were slackers*, so I'm not really seeing your point. The current generation is just continuing the downward trend. Take it forward another 40 years or so and kids will probably spend all day lying on motorised armchairs cyber-bullying each other via brain implant while their parents sit at home on their antique smartphones bemoaning how "kids these days" can't be bothered moving their thumbs to type like they did in the good old days.

        *for example my grandfather used to ride a hors

        • *for example my grandfather used to ride a horse to school at 7am every morning *after* milking the cows and helping with odd-jobs around the farm.

          A horse? You flash git.

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Given the mess caused by the few horses we get riding through the village I'm kind of glad every kid isn't on one every day. The country would be ankle deep in shit.

      • Re: Sad generation (Score:4, Insightful)

        by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday June 08, 2018 @03:31AM (#56747946)

        My grat aunt was a teacher in the 1920s and told we had it better, because not starving so much. Also living in houses was a nice thing. Also the twowars where not a nice thing.

      • My grandparents said the same thing. They used to ride horses to school and go fishing at lunchtime. We were slackers that bludged along on those new fangled bicycle thingies and simply ran around a field with a ball at lunch instead of having real fun. Nothing good would ever come from that apparently...

        Good example - nothing good did come from it :)

      • My grandparents said the same thing. They used to ride horses to school and go fishing at lunchtime. We were slackers that bludged along on those new fangled bicycle thingies and simply ran around a field with a ball at lunch instead of having real fun.

        Unless your grandparents grew up in the 1850's, bicycles wouldn't be considered "new fangled thingies". ;-)

    • Re:Sad generation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:18PM (#56747076)

      I pass about 8 school grounds (covering all age groups)

      Where I live (San Jose, CA) the elementary schools ban devices. They can be powered off in a backpack, but can't be turned on during school hours.

      Middle schools and high schools are more permissive, banning only in-class use. At my daughter's high school, any student whose phone rings in class has to get up in front of the class and dance The Macarena [youtube.com]. This is a surprisingly effective deterrent.

      • At my daughter's high school, any student whose phone rings in class has to get up in front of the class and dance The Macarena. This is a surprisingly effective deterrent.

        Until you get to the showoff with six different remixes of "Macarena" on his phone, including the one that sounds like it's straight out of Mortal Kombat ("La Mezcla Guerrillera by Fangoria" [youtube.com]) and the one that sounds like almost a mash-up with "Unbelievable" by EMF ("Bass Bumpers Remix" [youtu.be]).

        Source: Macarena Non Stop [wikipedia.org]

    • by shess ( 31691 )

      I pass about 8 school grounds (covering all age groups) on the way to work every day for over a decade. I remember it was always kids playing sports, on the swings, running around, etc. The last 5 years it's mostly sitting around and staring at phones.

      I'm so thankful I wasn't raised in this generation.

      A year ago, I went with a group of scouts to Seabase in the Florida Keys. We spent a week on an island with no electronics of any kind, even watches. When we got back, the kids all spent their time playing odd physical games, while the various adult leaders were all sitting silently staring at their phones.

      I put my phone away at that point.

      BTW, did _you_ spend any time today outside just running around?

    • And as someone who's gay, I am extremely thankful I wasn't raised in yours...
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Adults do this too these days. :P

    • I clearly remember, although I am not able to track the reference right now, of an ancient roman text that went somehow this way:
      It was during the wars of Cleopatre. The scene depicted a war field, with one of Cleopatre generals receiving orders, reading them, then turning to apply them.
      In any classical movie you can imagine the picture : general receives sealed package, unseals, reads, and now on to the next action scene, nothing special to be seen here.

      Then, the actual roman text: written by the man dedic

      • An anecdote from my grandfather: when he was in the army (in the 1930's, in southern Europe), lots of folks couldn't read but still received letters from their family, so my grandfather would read them aloud. They wanted him to put his hands over his ears so he wouldn't hear what he was reading.

  • Good... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @09:17PM (#56746852)
    They're also a distraction in lectures/classes -- you retain a lot more if you're taking notes on paper and not browsing the Internet. Honestly, this should extend to all electronic devices like laptops and tablets unless there's an accommodation for a disability.
    • They're also a distraction in lectures/classes -- you retain a lot more if you're taking notes on paper and not browsing the Internet.

      IDK, in many of the classes I've been in I would probably have learned more if I spent the class Googling the topic instead of taking notes.

      Once again people who actually study are forced to pay for the sins of those who cannot.

    • Unless...you educate your children, and provide them with devices - and the knowledge to use them - that enable them to securely share notes, pictures etc.
      It makes them more productive and ready for more advanced environments later.

      If you're here, you're a nerd with your own private server(s) - start with this:
      https://nextcloud.com/ [nextcloud.com]

    • You can also take notes on a laptop or tablet ...
      And if you insist on handwriting, just take a tablet that is suited for that (or an eBook reader).

  • Legal right? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nahor ( 41537 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @09:30PM (#56746908)

    students will be banned from using mobile phones

    ...

    a legal "right to disconnect"

    Being forced to do something isn't a "right", unless you live in Oceania

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      unless you live in Oceania

      I do live in Oceania, mate. Bloody yanks.

    • As in a lex legis right. That right may not be the *student* right. It seems counter intuitive but some right are imposed on the whole as a restriction to protect people. e.g. the right of school until you are 16 , would probably not being recognized as a right by the kids, rather as an imposition, on their freedom, but it is definitively a right.
      • by x0ra ( 1249540 )
        we have reach new level of new-speech indoctrination... A right is something you can freely choose to exercise... or not, at your own discretion. Carrying a gun is a Right (in the US). Mandatory school is not a right, it's mandatory school.
        • by sabri ( 584428 )
          School is not mandatory in the U.S. Education is, but you can choose to home-school.
          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            This is correct of the United States. It is not correct of other countries like Germany, which ban homeschooling.

  • Because 'Freedom' to be a jerk seems to be written in the Constitution....
  • Phones Are HELPFUL! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    My daughter's school had a water main break & flooding. They canceled school in the middle of the day. Her ability to call me was a godsend!

    Mind you, her phone stays in her locker all day. She can't use it in classes or during lunch. But when we need to coordinate after-school activities, having a phone available for texting or calls is a godsend!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:24PM (#56747098)

      Little known fact: there were no after-school activities before the advent of cell phones. That was indeed the technology that finally enabled them.

    • Every school around here can contact the parents in case of early dismissal, not to mention that early closures are announced on the radio and television.

      After school activities are just that - after school. Who cares if a child uses a phone after school? That's not what we're talking about.
    • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Friday June 08, 2018 @03:27AM (#56747936)

      When I was a kid, I had no way of surviving when school was out earlier. And a result I was killed dead. Kids can nor be left unattended for any amount of time. Let me be an example, as I was killed dead because of it.

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday June 08, 2018 @07:28AM (#56748546)

      My daughter's school had a water main break & flooding. They canceled school in the middle of the day. Her ability to call me was a godsend!

      Do you suffer from the delusion that that sort of thing never happened prior to mobile phones being widely available? Here is a hint. The SCHOOL called you instead. I know, right? You might actually have to talk to an adult!

      Schools now can very easily send a blast message out to all parents via text or email. They also maintain call lists and other people have phones too. Your child would have survived just fine and worst case would have been bored for a few hours. Schools are well equipped to deal with this sort of thing.

      But when we need to coordinate after-school activities, having a phone available for texting or calls is a godsend!

      No it has become a crutch. It is not necessary. When I was school age I had no problem coordinating after school activities with my parents and I didn't get a mobile phone until I was 26. Your argument is specious.

    • My daughter's school had a water main break & flooding. They canceled school in the middle of the day. Her ability to call me was a godsend!

      Call me old fashioned, but I think I'd want a boring old phone call from an actual adult at the school in that sort of situation.

      • Yeah, and so want the other 300 parents of those 300 kids.
        So, one minute per kid to inform the parent ... adds up to 5hours of phone calls. Sure, if the teachers have mobiles probably 10 teachers can call 30 parents each, still takes half an hour.

        It makes much more sense each child calls on its own, and only those who have no phone are covered by other kids or teachers.

    • by nbuet ( 944469 )
      When kids don't have phone, the school calls or let them call, or they ask a friend, or a neighbour or an office. Or the school takes care of them. Phone is not mandatory, it's just one way for your kids to get to you - among multiples. Make sure your kids understand and use these options.
    • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )

      "Her ability to call me was a godsend!"

      Because it's impossible to make a phone call without using your personal mobile phone,

  • I wonder if it applies only to primary school or to secondary school as well. The measure would be mostly relevant in secondary school.
    • From TFA: "... in nursery, primary and middle-schools, until around the age of 15. "

      I'm so glad they passed this law (I'm French), and really surprized to see most people thinking that way. We went really far in kid's addiction to smartphones & social media ; time to control this shit a little. This is an important milestone.

  • At my daughter's school, all students put their phones in a basket as they enter the classroom and collect them as they leave. This is a small private school, so I don't know how well this would go over in a larger public institution....
  • If you got a phone...
  • I know you're out there! But I'm not one of them.
  • Not a drill (Score:2, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

    In the US, we can't ban mobile phones from schools because then how would students be able to tell their parents goodbye when they're hiding in a closet from a member of the well-regulated militia?

    • That's just a once-in-a-lifetime event. Students need phones daily to set up drug buys.
  • have to pass their exams and tests on merit.
    Got to study more for your professionnel, technologique, général, scientifique, économique et social curriculum for real in the future.
    Hours of study. Learning equations, facts, how to think within in a set time. Rather than what site to look up that has the needed facts on Napoleons successful campaigns.
    The happy decade of glowing instant networked support is over.
    The only skill an entire generation had was how to use the internet.
    With acade
  • Wouldn't it be a whole lot smarter to teach the kids how to have access to their phones but not to use it? - Because that's how the world is outside the school...

    A straight-out ban teaches nothing and only encourages students to find workarounds and similar.

    • Wouldn't it be a whole lot smarter to teach the kids how to have access to their phones but not to use it? - Because that's how the world is outside the school...

      A straight-out ban teaches nothing and only encourages students to find workarounds and similar.

      You can't workaround having a teacher smash your precious phone to pieces with a club hammer.

  • During a parliamentary debate, lawmakers from Macron's La Republique En Marche party said banning phones in schools meant all children now had a legal "right to disconnect" from digital pressures during their school day.

    Sort of like my right to not kill people in public? Seriously, 'right to disconnect' is totally the wrong choice of words. How the hell did 'banning phones' morph into 'right to disconnect'? Even for a euphemism, that's a pretty serious stretch.

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