parents of students are mobilizing to delay the age of the first cell phone

A pact to ban the use of smartphones before the age of 15 is online on a platform. Parents of students are at the origin.


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Two children play with a cell phone.  (JEAN MICHEL MART / MAXPPP)

Challenge Kickoff “10 days without a screen”, Tuesday May 14. Dozens of schools, associations, municipalities and social centers are committed to turning off screens: TVs, tablets but especially smartphones to protect young people in particular from their excessive use. In the same vein, parents of students are mobilizing to delay the age of the first smartphone to 15 years old and thus prevent their child from being exposed too early to violence, porn and harassment.

It was Olivier, parent of two young teenagers near Rennes, who launched the initiative for this pact. For him, the ban on using cell phones at school and college is not enough to protect children: “It’s prohibited in colleges. However, children are exposed to other people’s smartphones on school trips, on the bus that takes children to school, in the somewhat ‘stolen’ moments when children manage to hide the use of a smartphone within school grounds. If you talk to health professionals, everyone agrees that we need to increase the age of the first smartphone.

The goal of the pact, like the Facebook group close to it, is to reverse social pressure: to ensure that parents do not feel obliged to do like everyone else by giving a cell phone to a teenager too early. Sandrine signed the pact, even if her 11-year-old daughter, who is finishing grade 6ecalls for a smartphone: “We explain to him that at school, there is harassment but that when you have a cell phone, the harassment continues outside. We believe that there are things that you see on a cell phone who are not her age. She doesn’t necessarily understand what I want to say to her, but I think she knows it’s for her own good.” THE “Parents’ pact for a decline in the first smartphone” can be found at A Facebook group also exists “parents united against smartphones before the age of 15”.

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