NewsConfiscation of the phone as a punishment? Controversial idea of politicians

Confiscation of the phone as a punishment? Controversial idea of politicians

French politicians are working on a controversial project.
French politicians are working on a controversial project.
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5:52 AM EDT, September 30, 2023, updated: 9:13 AM EDT, October 5, 2023

After the suicide of another child, the French government is under great pressure. Part of society hopes that decisive actions will be taken to counter bullying in French schools. One of the ideas is controversial.

The developed plan "to counteract bullying", in serious cases, includes, among other things, directing perpetrators to empathy courses, but also penalties which may sound much more threatening in the eyes of young people. Some French politicians believe that the tools often used by tormentors are smartphones with internet access. Therefore, an idea was born to limit their access.

"Young offline bullies"

Gabriel Attal, the French Minister of Justice, stated that in very serious cases the "permanent confiscation" of smartphones could be ordered by the court for minors. It would apply for 6 or 12 months (depending on whether it was the first or subsequent offense of the perpetrator).

It could look similar in the case of using social media. In this case, however, current French law only allows for such restrictions if the person has been definitively convicted of a criminal offense.

The problem of persecution in French schools

Gabriel Attal added that "anti-intimidation brigades" are to appear in schools. Each of them is to include a child psychologist. In addition to directing perpetrators of misconduct to empathy courses, the plans of French politicians also include the development of a hotline for harassment and making it easier to access it.

The problem is serious. French media report that even 14 percent of French students have experienced serious bullying at school. Most cases are related to children aged 11-15 years old.

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