France bans cell phones in schools
French children will be going back to school today, but they will be doing so without their cell phones.
The ban was passed in July and also encompasses tablets and smart watches.
The ban was an election pledge by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The ban will apply to French primary and junior high schools.
French high schools, which take in children aged 15 to 18, will also be allowed to impose partial or total bans but they will not be obligatory.
Supporters say the will reduce distraction in the classroom, combat bullying and encourage children to be more active during recess.
They also hope it will limit the spread of violent and pornographic content among children.
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has hailed the legislation as "a law for the 21st century" that would improve discipline among France's 12 million schoolchildren.
"Being open to technologies of the future doesn't mean we have to accept all their uses," he said in June when the bill was going through parliament.
Critics however have dismissed the ban as a public relations exercise, saying it will be difficult to apply.
(With inputs from AFP)