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Keep It PG

Keep It PG

Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally, Co. Limerick

2018

The Idea

This 'Keep It PG' team of 27 girls from Corbally, Co Limerick chose to focus on the topic of sexting for their YSI project. The team wanted to raise awareness of how people should respond when they receive an unsolicited image.

The Action

They worked closely with their local Community Gardai and participated in Webwise Ireland’s Safer Internet day, during which they held workshops and information sessions for students in their school. They also produced informational and instructive bookmarks displaying information on the issue and suggested responses to messages received, as well as a range of fun and engaging activities to advise people on the correct actions to take if they receive unwanted images.  Furthermore, the team contacted service providers such as snapchat and Facebook to promote the idea of making a generic response available – a simple message to let the sexter know that what they’re doing is wrong.

The team recognised the policy deficit and advocated for a change in the laws around sexting. The students felt that the current legislation around sexting is no longer fit for purpose as it dates from before young people had access to mobile devices. The law which currently applies defines sexting as child pornography and carries sentences that are not going to be applied and do not act as an effective deterrent. Former Minister Jan O’Sullivan worked with the students to sharpen their lobbying skills and the team have contacted many other TDs and ministers to further their objective.

The Impact

The team have already had a significant impact in their school and surrounding community and, with further activities planned, hope to have a greater and longer lasting impact. The team see their success at the YSI Awards as a springboard to launch more impactful actions.

In 2019 the team met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to brief him on their work and to discuss their concerns in relation to sexting abuse among minors in Ireland. Click here to read more.

"As soon as the students started to talk about sexting they knew they wanted to tackle the issue. They set about figuring out what the law was and what the consequences were for young people."
Lorraine Kerin, YSI Guide
PARTNERS
Department of Rural and Community Development
HSE
Healthy Ireland
WorldWise Global Schools
Department of Education and Skills
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Tomar Trust
Department of Social Protection
Abbvie
Vodafone Foundation
The Dormant Accounts Fund