Rural Irish school bans bans smartphones outside school hours

Rural Irish school bans bans smartphones outside school hours

A SCHOOL in County Kerry has introduced a ban on students using smartphones and social media apps outside school hours, with the full support of parents.

St Brendan’s National School in Blennerville, just outside Tralee, brought in the 11-week pilot programme amid concerns over messaging groups some of the children were accessing.

Principal Terry O’Sullivan said that comments and content of an inappropriate nature were being circulated on social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram between pupils aged 11 and 12.

While the school is a digital school in the sense that it uses iPads as educational tools, the activity of students online is heavily supervised.

At a meeting of staff and parents last week, it was agreed that the use of smartphones and social media apps would be banned entirely outside of school hours.

There already existed a ban on smartphones during school hours.

Principal O’Sullivan said: “We are not anti-iPads. You have to embrace the digital era. We use iPads here in school…but they must be monitored, they must be supervised,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

He also said that parents have told him they have noticed an improvement in their children’s moods and behaviour since the out-of-hours technology ban was introduced.