Donald Macleod: Zut alors! French ban on kids’ phones should be imported to Scotland

Donald Macleod is in favour of a phone ban for kids (iStock)
Donald Macleod is in favour of a phone ban for kids (iStock)

IT was a bold move that sent shockwaves throughout France, but has barely caused a ripple on this side of the Channel.

The French Governments education minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has announced a total ban on pupils using mobile phones in schools.

The ban will be rigorously enforced and includes playtimes and lunchtimes.

Opinion between teachers, parents and some pupils is bitterly divided.

Many pro-phoners claim children must be able to live in their time and not the past, that a smartphone helps make smarter pupils and they are up in arms over the Government’s Big brother attitude.


Blanquer is playing a blinder.

And we should consider banning their use in our schools as well.

Why? Well, as Blanquer points out: “These days children don’t play at break time anymore, they are just in front of their smartphones, and from an educational point of view that’s a problem.”

He has a point.

The rise of the smartphone has given rise to the stooped neck, glazed eyes, arthritic fingers and loss of social skills.

Don’t get me wrong, kids still play games in the playground but not games I once played in all weathers and games which invigorated, energised and kept me fit and healthy.

Activities such as simply running around, playing football, tumbling and tig.

Today it’s lazy, unhealthy, mind-numbing android games played out and shared on phones and tablets, interspersed with checking in and updating their social media posts or web browsing, without limit or parental control.

Studies in France, a country similar to Scotland, that more than 90% of children between the ages of 12-17 own a mobile, and their use has not just taken over the playground but also expanded into the classroom, with almost 40% of school punishments now mobile phone related.

So a total ban of their use at school seems to be the only answer.

But any ban here is almost certainly going to have the PC bleeding hearts spitting their collective dummies out.

You know the lot, those who will happily shut schools as soon as a single flake of snow falls.

But let’s not just stop the ban with our children.

Let’s lead by example, especially our politicians.

I say ban their use from all government debates, enquiries and committees. From both the Houses of Parliament, Scottish Government and Local Councils.

I’m sick of seeing politicians and councillors of all parties, scurrilously tweeting, messaging and snapchatting snide remarks while an important debate, is taking place.

Scare blue! Il faut arreter – it has to stop!