Greystones: the children’s paradise without cell phones

  • All schools in the Irish town of Greystones sign a protocol with parents to leave minors without a smartphone until they reach secondary education

  • Schools in Europe and America pay attention to the measure: “It is wonderful to read messages from all over the world, it is a global concern,” says Rachel Harper, the director of the school that promotes the idea.

  • 20% of Spanish children under the age of ten already have a mobile, despite the fact that all international organizations recommend not using it until at least sixteen

Rachel Harper is the director of Saint Patrick’s National School, one of the eight primary schools in Greystones, an Irish town located about 30 km south of Dublin. It is a paradise on the shores of the cold waters of the St. George Channel, off the British coast. Now it could become the paradise of a childhood without mobile phones. Although she has no children, Harper does have nephews the same age as her students. Therefore, she knows first-hand the use that minors make of ‘smartphones’ and she knows that it is a matter that worries parents a lot. “A few days ago, a father came to tell me: we would not let a child enter an unknown place full of adults alone; we always ask you not to open the door to a stranger. How is it possible that we have come to this with mobile phones? It’s the same thing, ”Harper explains to Nius, from her school office. So she got down to business and began to ask each of her colleagues if they had the same concern, if they thought things were going too far, and they all said yes. “So, let’s do something,” he told them.

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