French citizens and lawmakers decided to ban the use of smartphones in schools this past Monday. President Emmanuel Macron had proposed this law while he was campaigning, promising that kids under the age of 15 would have the choice of either leaving their phones at home, or shutting them off for the duration of the school day.
While some exceptions are made for students with disabilities and for those who’ll use electronic devices for educational purposes, the law is supposed to extend itself to other electronic devices that have access to the Internet, including tablets, laptops, and others.
The Verge reports that this isn’t the first time that France has monitored the use of cellphones; in 2010 the use of smartphones was banned during all teaching activity. Earlier this year, texting while in a car was banned, even when pulled over by the side of the road.
Alex Corbière, deputy of Unbowed France party, said that the approved law was already in place. “I don’t know a single teacher in this country that allows the use of phones in class.”
According to The Guardian, the law will kick off properly during the beginning of the school year in September. French lawmakers explained that even though technology can be used for educational purposes, the use of mobiles should be controlled. This law is also supposed to serve as a public health message to families. “It’s good that children are not too often, or even at all, in front of a screen before the age of seven,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French minister of education.