To ban, or not to ban? And is it really a question at all?

French appear to be making plans to outlaw mobile telephones in school. Except it appears they might not actually, since apparently “Pupils will still be allowed to bring their phones onto school premises, but will not be allowed to have access to them at any point during the school day.” So not outlawing mobile telephones in school at all then.

Intrigued by what strategies schools will employ to ensure that pupils have no access during the school day. Envisage long queues of students obediently handing devices to The Mobile Police as they pass through the school gates each morning and then collecting them as they leave at lunchtime (accompanied by soundtrack of The Pink Floyd, naturally). Do French schools all still finish at lunchtime? Entirely possible I remain firmly entrenched in own experience of French language learning and this not the case at all. “Je voudrais acheter une disque de Sacha DIstel” etc.

Entirely convinced moral panic over mobile telephones in schools (French or otherwise) driven by rabid media determined to cast children in stereotypical role of good-for-nothing layabouts addicted to worrying about what their peers think of how they look. Some truth in this timeless caricature, certainly, but by no means wholesale. Admittedly anecdotal evidence of own school suggests where clear boundaries are set then children’s use of mobile telephones most assuredly Not An Issue. Grudgingly admit that headlines of “Students cause no fuss when asked not to have mobile telephones out in lessons or corridors” unlikely to generate mass hysteria and thus sell copies of newspapers and/or generate ‘clicks’.

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