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Paris: Phone porn fears after pupils fondle girls

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Paris: Phone porn fears after pupils fondle girls
Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular among pupils in France. Photo: AFP
15:51 CEST+02:00
A prestigious Paris secondary school has been hit by scandal after schoolboys resorted to groping girls after having watched porn on their phones during their lunch breaks. The incidents have prompted a debate around the impact of porn and whether smartphones should be banned in schools.
Six schoolboys from the prestigious Montaigne middle school (collège) were disciplined after it was alleged they had groped girls in the school's toilets after watching pornographic films on their smartphones during their lunch breaks.
 
In a letter to the school's authorities, a mother of one of the victims said that her daughter and others were "insecure both physically and psychologically" after the abuse, in which she said the boys, aged 10 and 11 had fondled the girls' breasts, buttocks, and vaginas.
 
One girl at the school in Paris's chic 6th arrondissement returned home to tell her parents how she knew the boys were watching "borno" at school, reported French newspaper Le Parisien
 
Another parent said that he had become aware that the boys, aged 10 and 11, had been using an iPhone 6 to watch videos on porn streaming website YouPorn. 
 
The reports made headline news and prompted concern across France around the potential dangers of porn and from allowing children to take mobile phones into schools.
 
 
("Should we be afraid of bid bad porn" published in France's Les Inrocks magazine after the school fondling scandal)
 
François Bayrou, the president of the centrist Democratic Movement called for a ban on smartphones at schools or at least during lunch breaks, which he referred to as a "common sense measure" that would reduce the risk of such abuse occurring again. 
 
Sociologist Michel Fize chimed in on the topic for the Le Figaro newspaper, lamenting the fact that internet was creeping into the daily lives people at younger and younger ages, seemingly serving as a "justification for behavioural excess".
 
"The fondlers were quick to say that their assaults were 'just for fun'," he wrote. "It's terrible to consider their lack of understanding about the gravity of their actions."
 
Smartphones are already forbidden during class hours across France, but students are allowed to use them during their breaks. 
 
The six schoolboys faced a disciplinary board hearing earlier this month, where the two ringleaders were warned that their next offence would provoke a permanent expulsion. Another two were temporarily suspended, and two were punished with extra schoolwork.
 
The scandal has also promoted prosecutors to launch their own investigation under the offence of sexual abuse of minors.
 
The school itself has started an education programme in an attempt to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future.
 
Educating students rather than banning their phones is an approach that has recently been making headlines in Denmark, where a sexology professor has urged schools to show students porn so that they can learn to tell the difference between real-life sex and what they see in online films.
 
The professor said that if teens tried to replicate what they saw in hard-core porn films, “it was a recipe for broken necks and disappointment”. 
 
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