The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland is the statutory, independent body for the teaching profession and is dedicated to enhancing the status of teaching and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice.
Ban video phones in school
Tuesday 31, July 2007
Children's commissioner Patricia Lewsley last night called for a ban on mobile phones in schools - in a bid to prevent them being used to film fights between children which are then posted on the internet.
Her call coincided with an investigation by BBC1's Panorama programme into the violent clips being found on video download websites.
The programme found one film which showed a youth brandishing a handgun and smashing it against a police car. Another video showed a laughing teenager jumping on a police car and shattering its windscreen.
Earlier this year a special report by the Belfast Telegraph highlighted the extent of the problem in Northern Ireland.
In a number of cases teenagers and young children are forced to fight while bystanders use mobile phones to capture the violent clashes which are then posted on websites like YouTube and Bebo.
Last night the BBC's Panorama programme found that fights between children are regularly uploaded to sharing websites.
The BBC probe found that children as young as 11 were being filmed kicking and punching other kids.
Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, says a mobile ban could help curtail the problem in Northern Ireland.
She added: "Mobile phones are about helping young people who have them to feel safe; they should not be about putting young people at risk. Banning mobile phones in schools is just part of the solution. It is not the only answer - there need to be some other deterrents. I am in favour of a ban but mindful that it is only part of solving the problem."
Two months ago, the Telegraph revealed the shocking story of a video showing two young boys taking part in a brutal brawl in a Belfast park.
It had been posted on the internet under "entertainment".
The video, which appeared on the YouTube website recently, has already been viewed almost 500 times, despite the fact that would-be viewers must confirm they are 18 or over before accessing the clip on the site.
The footage, filmed on a mobile phone camera, showed two 10-year-old boys fighting in the Falls Park, while a group of youths watched.
The fight lasted for 45 seconds in total, during which older children appeared to encourage the youngsters to hit each other.
Some of the spectators could be seen filming the fight on their mobile phones and the video provoked a number of responses after appearing on YouTube.