Possibility of setting up jammers in schools

Written question No. 01048 by Mr Christophe Béchu (Maine-et-Loire – UMP)

published in the Senate of 26/07/2012 – page 1700

Mr. Christophe Béchu draws the attention of the Minister of National Education on the use of mobile phones in a school setting. More and more young people have a mobile phone that can have an impact on school life: they are sometimes used during class, to the detriment of the listening and concentration necessary for learning and respect for educational staff. He asked for the Government’s point of view on the possible introduction of jammers in schools.

Response from the Ministry of National Education

published in the OJ Senate of 13/12/2012 – page 2907

The use of the mobile phone is a phenomenon of society which is also manifested within schools. The Grenelle des ondes (“Frequency, health and environment” round table) voted for a general ban on their use in schools and colleges. Article L. 511-5 of the Education Code, resulting from Law No. 2010-788 of 12 July 2010 on a national commitment to the environment, states that “in kindergartens, elementary schools and colleges the use during any teaching activity and in the places provided for by the rules of procedure, by a pupil, of a mobile telephone is forbidden “. The prohibition laid down by this text applies during teaching activities, as well as in places where the rules of procedure extend this prohibition to students. It is therefore the responsibility of the authorities of each school or college to specify in the rules of procedure places where students can not use their phone. In fact, the school’s rules of procedure define the rules of collective life applicable to all members of the educational community within the institution and the specific procedures according to which the rights and freedoms benefit the students. It should be noted that the general prohibition in Article L. 511-5 does not apply to high schools. The boards of directors of these establishments may decide to define, in the rules of procedure, the terms of use of mobile phones by students. Heads of schools, under their own powers as officers of the order in the institution, can, in addition, take all measures to stop the troubles related to the use of mobile phones . Moreover, the prohibition set out in Article L. 511-5 does not appear, in the current state of the law, to be generalizable to any type of technological information and communication medium, since its use is framed. : it can also have a pedagogical purpose, notwithstanding the fact that they can include the same features as a mobile phone. Moreover, some local authorities have already provided schools with these new tools so that they can experiment with their students. This is particularly the case in the academies of Bordeaux, Créteil and Grenoble in terms of touch pad. For this purpose, the Eduscol site has a dedicated website. With regard to the possible installation of “wave cell phone jammer“, the General Inspectorate of National Education has reflected on the issue. If this solution proves to be a means to prevent telephone calls, there is, however, a certain reluctance of the population towards the emission of electromagnetic waves, especially those of “jammers”, given their actual or supposed effects about health. In any event, Article L. 33-3-1 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code expressly prohibits “the use of any device intended to render ineffective electronic communications devices of all types, both for broadcast only for the reception “. This use is admitted derogatory “for the purposes of public order, defense and national security, or the public service of justice.” Schools are not mentioned in this limiting list.