World, As Seen from the most beautiful islands: Ireland and Cyprus

Greystones limits school children exposure to mobile phones


For many primary school children in the Irish city of Greystones, a mobile phone is no longer part of their lives. Parent associations of the eight local primary schools have collectively signed a no-smartphone agreement.

The idea is that young children should not have phones at school or at home. This is aimed at preventing them from encountering online content that is unsuitable for young eyes. The Guardian newspaper reports that children should feel less peer pressure to engage with mobile phones since their peers also do not have them.

Two children interviewed by the newspaper are accepting of the phone-free arrangement. Ten-year-old Jane says, “I would like to have a phone to message my friends. But I don’t want to become addicted to it.” Her younger sister Rachel (8) thinks it’s “fair if no one is allowed to have one.” However, there may still be young children in the Irish city who receive phones, as the agreement is voluntary and parents are free to decide what they do about it.

Rachel Harper, head of the school that took the initiative, says that children are increasingly ” shorter young.” The agreement makes it a lot easier for parents to say no to their offspring: “they love it, they can now blame the school.”

The Irish public health minister, who lives near Greystones, recommends the same policy to schools across the country. He told The Irish Times earlier this week that he believes it is an important task for his country to prevent young people from being damaged by what they encounter online. “We need to make it easier for parents to limit the content their children are exposed to.”

Written by: Liam O'Reilly

Liam O'Reilly is the founder of the publication, a former analyst at a major reputation agency in the UK, who chose Cyprus as his home.

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World, As Seen from the most beautiful islands: Ireland and Cyprus

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