A new ruling in France banned cell phones during school hours, reports Lifezette. Students from ages three to 15 are prohibited from using their smartphones on school grounds in a move that legislators hope will both reduce distractions and encourage children to play outside.
School administrators fear that students are relying too much on their digital connections rather than engaging with each other in person.
“We’re not seeking to reject technological progress, that would be absurd, but to master it, to make sure man is the master of the machine,” Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s education minister, explained in a Wall Street Journal article, “It all begins with education.”
When interviewed by Lifezette, North Carolina pediatrician Dr. Rosemary Stein shared her concerns over children being overly focused on their cell phones. However, she disagrees with the scope of the French ban. “You’re telling them, ‘OK, there are no cell phones because you can’t control yourself.’ Well, you’re not teaching a child self-control. Whenever something has to go into the hands of the government, I don’t think that’s the right way to approach that for our children.” Stein also said that there are plenty of adults who are as attached to their phones as their children are. She would like to see them set the example by putting down the phones and talking to their children, not expecting the schools to address the problem.
December 10, 2018