Irish school introduces unique ban OUTSIDE of school hours

19th Apr 18 | News

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A Kerry primary school has introduced a ban on smartphones and social media apps both during and OUTSIDE of school hours.

Parents of the children who attend the school are said to be in full support of the ban, and despite being just a week in, they have already noticed an improvement in their children at Blenneville National School near Tralee.

The ban was introduced after it was discovered that children aged 11 and 12 were involved in inappropriate messaging groups with older teenagers.

Speaking to JOE.ie, school principal Terry O'Sullivan said:

"Through the course of the last year, we had seen repeated incidents occurring on messaging groups set up within our 6th class students.

It was on Snapchat, Instagram, these kind of groups, and it was affecting friendships, leading to arguments. Negative messages were being sent.

We had initially tried to deal with each incident as it came by speaking to parents. For a few weeks, that was fine. They would take the devices off children and delete the apps, but unfortunately they would be downloaded again and the whole thing would start over."

He continued:

"Outside school, you're dealing with a grey area. Our recommendation was to work with parents for 11 weeks.

We all came to the agreement to remove their children from social media apps and to take the smartphones away from them. As we had seen before, you couldn't just delete the apps, because children found a way around it. So the devices were removed, both inside and outside the classroom.

We got a consensus, and whatever happens next will be reviewed after the end of the 11-week period."

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