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French MPs vote to ban mobile phones in schools

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French MPs vote to ban mobile phones in schools
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French MPs voted to ban the use of mobile phones in primary and middle schools on Thursday.

Under the new measures, students under 15 will have to keep cellphones out of sight while on school grounds. The new law makes an exception for phones used for "pedagogic purposes" or equipment needed by handicapped children.

_The suggestion of a law about the usage of mobile phones in primary and middle schools was adopted in a public session. _

By a show of hands, French lawmakers voted to put the law in place, which will now go to the Senate.

The ban on cell phones in schools — one of Macron’s campaign promises — is geared towards improving students’ concentration and preventing cyberbullying and the watching of pornography.

Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer called it a "detox measure" to combat distraction and bullying.

If approved, the new law would kick in at the start of the next school year in September.

Critics of the ban say it will be difficult to enforce since teachers won’t be able to police every single student.

A study by a French agency in charge of regulating telecommunications (ARCEP) showed that 93% of teenagers aged 12 to 17 owned a mobile phone in 2016 — in contrast to 72% in 2005.