It appears the initiative of parents and students in Blennerville National School, in Co Kerry, to ban the use of Smartphones was a trail blazing move. This has paved the way for other Irish National Schools to consider outright ban on Smartphones from September 2018. The substantial feedback we are receiving from Parents and School Principals, who also support this decision to implement a ban, has been incredible.
From speaking to children, we have witnessed a huge increase in the amount who are viewing T.V. and Movie content which is unsuitable for them. Almost all of the children are telling us, they have seen the content either on YouTube or Netflix. Children in National Schools have reported how they have been unable to sleep at night, or had disturbing dreams as a direct result of something they had seen on a digital device.
A new study published by the Internet Watch Foundation, has revealed that 98% of victims of Live Streaming, Online Child Exploitation were under 13 years of age. Live streaming allows a user to broadcast live footage of themselves online. This is a feature of many popular social media platforms. The results of the new study, makes for seriously harrowing reading. It is hard to imagine that young people are live streaming themselves being sexually exploited online.
Students at Coláiste Bríde in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, recently discovered in a study, that two out of every three people in the school, had received a sexualized image, or had been asked for one. The results led students to launch their own Sexting awareness campaign. Sexting is an obvious source of concern for the parents of young teens. It can also be a big problem for teens themselves. Imagine how difficult it must be, to exist in an online environment, where all of your own friends, followers and peers are exchanging sexualized images.