‘Keep it PG’ –Sexting campaign wins national award for Limerick students

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

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jessica.casey@limerickleader.ie

The winning students along with principal Brid Herbert, Sergeant Ciara Dee, Inspector Luke Conlon, Garda Lisa Griffin, Aoife Garrard and coordinating teacher Lorraine Kerin

The winning students along with principal Brid Herbert, Sergeant Ciara Dee, Inspector Luke Conlon, Garda Lisa Griffin, Aoife Garrard and coordinating teacher Lorraine Kerin

A CAMPAIGN highlighting the perils of sexting while lobbying for a change in the law to protect young people has won transition students in Limerick top prize in a national competition for social innovation.

Transition year students at Ardscoil Mhuire in Corbally are asking their peers to #KeepitPG with their award-winning project highlighting the dangers of sexting, the practice of sending explicit photographs via mobile phone or messaging service. 

Inspired by their concern that sexting is prevalent amongst teenagers, the students collaborated with community gardaí and ran  an active social media campaign while also lobbying government representatives for a change in the law to protect young people. 

The students also designed a bookmark to educate young people about both the short and long-term consequences of sending nude images. 

‘Sexting- Get the Message’ came about due to the girls’ concern over the prevalence of sexting amongst teenagers and the lack of communication for young people about the topic of sex, according to the students. 

“Our project really means a lot to us because sexting and sex education is an issue that is very relevant to ourselves, our peers and all young people in Ireland today,” the newly crowned students said. 

“We really want to raise awareness about the lack of communication and education around sex for young people, and Young Social Innovators is a great opportunity for us to get our work started.

“ We are so delighted to win and to be named the Young Social Innovators of the Year for 2018,” they added. 

“We were very impressed by the standard of all the other projects  and we knew the competition was fierce.”

The award was presented to the students by Minister of State Sean Kyne, YSI co-founder Sr Stanislaus Kennedy and head of corporate affairs at Ulster Bank Elizabeth Arnett.  

Young people and their ideas are a valuable resource for fueling social change, according to Young Social Innovators chief executive and co-founder Rachel Collier.

“Every year I am blown away by the work presented by the young people in the Young Social Innovators programme, and 2018 has been no different.”