French to ban smartphones in schools

Excusez-moi, no smartphone allowed.

Marrian Zhou
Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
2 min read
Teenage girls on their smartphones.

Non, non!

Richard Baker/Getty Images

French teens will likely post fewer school selfies on social media this upcoming academic year.

Lawmakers in France passed a law Monday that prohibits students from using smartphones at school, according to a Tuesday report from Agence France-Presse. Once the law goes into effect, this September, students will have to either leave their phones at home or keep them switched off during school hours.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted about the law on Monday.

"The general ban on mobile phones in schools and colleges has been definitively adopted by the National Assembly today," said Macron's translated tweet. "Commitment held."

With the new law, the French hope to alleviate children's phone addiction and help them focus in class, according to The Washington Post. The phone ban will reportedly apply to students as old as 15, unless they use the phone for educational purposes or certain extracurricular activities, or unless they have a disability.

The law also fulfills one of Macron's campaign promises. However, not everyone is a supporter of this legislation, reported CNN.

"This isn't a 21st-century law in our eyes, but a law from the era of news channels and binary debate," a Deputy from the left-wing Unbowed France party Alexis Corbière told CNN. "In reality, the ban has already been made, [referring to a 2010 law that banned phones during teaching activity.] I don't know a single teacher in this country that allows the use of phones in class."

This isn't the first time France has passed a law banning mobile phones. In February, legislators prohibited drivers from using phones in the car, even when they're not actually driving. The law takes aim at people pulling over to use phones and potentially blocking traffic. You can now use your phone only when you're parked in a designated spot.

The French embassy had no further comment on the school phone ban.

First published on July 31, 3:55 p.m. PT.

Updated Aug. 1, 8:37 a.m. PT: Adds Alexis Corbière quote to CNN.