Following a survey by Amarach that revealed that 24% of six-year-olds now own a smartphone, Aontú have submitted a bill to the Dáil to ban them in primary schools outright.
Speaking today, Aontú candidate for Ireland South Patrick Murphy, said: “Aontú is tabling a Bill that will entirely ban the use of smartphones in primary schools. Following the recent numbers published in a study by Amárach, including 25% of children as young as six having a smartphone, now more than ever measures need to be taken.”
“By giving a smart phone to a child, you are effectively giving the full content, including extreme violence and graphic pornography to a child that is not equipped to deal with it. Not only that but that material also becomes available to other children in the class who have not been given a smart phone by their parents”.
Murphy continued, “School is a place for education and it is indicative that the young children of the nation can give their full focus to learning. Countless studies have shown the distracting nature of smartphones, as well as their addictive nature. On line bullying is also a massive problem with all the mental health pressures that that entails. This is extremely hampering to the education and brain development of children.”
“Parents and guardians will still have an important responsibility to monitor their children and their access to smartphones outside of the school environment. However, banning smartphones within primary schools sends a strong message to parents about the unsuitable nature of smart phones for primary school children. It is a significant step to protecting children from so much of the harmful content on the internet,” Murphy concluded.