Students and teachers on the new law aimed at detoxing teenagers from their screens

At the end of lessons at Claude Debussy middle school in Paris, a classical music jingle played instead of a bell and teenagers poured out of the gates. Several 13-year-olds quickly reached into their bags to check their mobile phones, which had been switched off for eight hours.

From this week, children’s phones have been banned from all state middle schools in France under a new law that President Emmanuel Macron said would help detox teenagers from their screens.

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