French schools, colleges advised to ban phones if necessary

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Paris, Oct 22 (IANS) French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer on Monday advised schools to ban the use of cellphones if their presence was creating problems.

Blanquer made the recommendation following a case last week in which a 15-year-old pupil allegedly pointed a fake gun at a teacher so she would mark him present after he arrived late to class, an incident that was filmed on a phone and shared online, reports Efe news.

“We will restore order,” the Minister told French daily Le Parisien in an interview in which he “encouraged” schools that faced “abnormal” situations to make use of a new law allowing phones to be banned, adding that last week’s incident “had shown we have the right to systematize the ban on telephones at schools and colleges”.

He said school directors should organise disciplinary councils when necessary, pointing out that one would be taking place at Edouard-Branly de Creteil school in Paris’ southeastern suburbs following the fake gun incident there.

Blanquer condemned the act and vowed that disciplinary action would be taken against the student.

The student involved was charged with aggravated violence and released pending disciplinary procedures.



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