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EMF Studies

18 May 2018

France: PROPOSED LAW Relating to the Ban of Use of Mobile Phones in Primary and Secondary Schools

The proposed French law on the ban of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools has just been published. It is without doubt a good decision. However it is quite regrettable that it does not outline the health risks to children. Yet, these risks were raised by ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety) in its July 2016 report, with a recommendation to discourage children under age 14 from using all mobile communication devices. This reluctance is not acceptable and we are going to make proposals in this sense to the Deputy Richard Ferrand to amend the future law.
- Message from Dr. Marc Arazi, President, Association Phonegate Alert.

PROPOSED LAW of Mr. Richard Ferrand relating to the ban of use of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools - unofficial translation
assemblée-nationale.fr, 14 May 2018

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

During his campaign, the President of the Republic pledged to ban the use of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools.

The use of mobile phones is developing in a very significant way among young people. The digital barometer created by the Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) indicates that 93 % of 12 to 17 year-olds had a mobile phone in 2016 (72% in 2005).

According to a survey conducted in June 2017 by the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) and the association Digital Generation, 63% of 11 to 14-year-olds were in at least one social network, and more than 4 in 10 lied about their age.

Currently, the use of mobile phones during educational activities and in schools causes many dysfunctions that are incompatible with the improvement of the school climate. In fact, it is likely that their use will encourage students to develop malicious or risky practices (cyberbullying, cybersex) and expose them to violent or shocking content (pornography).

During educational activities, the ban on the use of mobile phones will provide students with an environment that allows the attention, concentration and reflection necessary for activities, understanding and memorization.

During recreational time, the use of the mobile phones can be detrimental to reducing physical activity and limiting social interaction among students. Their use can prevent the building of harmonious socialization, essential to the development of children.

In addition, the use of mobile phones is at the root of a large part of the incivilities and disturbances of the schools: breakage, racketeering and theft. They also tend to support cyberbullying, which also exports violence outside the institutions.

Finally, mobile phones can facilitate access to violent images, including pornographic images. The ban on the use of mobile phones is one of the tools limiting the exposure of young people to shocking images.

The ban on the use of mobile phones in primary and secondary schools responds to both the educational challenges and the problems of school life.

That is why a large number of schools practice a total ban on mobile phones, often to the great satisfaction of stakeholders, but in the absence of an appropriate legal framework.

It is therefore necessary to consolidate the legal framework to allow the effective ban of mobile phones in all primary and all secondary schools and to ensure the security of the directors and heads of schools implementing this ban.

This prohibition does not refer to the educational uses of mobile phones, as part of a specific educational project and supervised by educational staff.

This is the purpose of the current proposal, which is to ban the use of mobile phones in nursery schools, primary schools and secondary schools.

PROPOSED LAW

Single article

Article L. 511-5 of the education code reads as follows:

"Art. L. 511-5.- With the exception of places where, under the conditions specified by the rules of procedure expressly authorized, the use of a mobile phone by a pupil is prohibited in nursery schools, primary schools and secondary schools "

Proposed law in French:
http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/pdf/propositions/pion0941.pdf

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