It is a measure of the concern social media is causing schools that one Auckland school, Kowhai Intermediate, is trying to ban its use by pupils not just in school grounds but in their lives outside for the two years of their attendance.

Good luck with that, will be the common response to our report today.

It is not a rule the school, or even the children's parents, will be able to enforce easily.

But if pupils complain of online bullying by others in the school, or are disturbed in any way by what classmates do on social media, the culprits will have broken school rules and the principal can take action.


The school has made the rule so that when parents of victims ask it to do something, it can do something when the behaviour occurs outside school hours.

On the positive side, the ban could help the youngsters learn to live without social media, at least for two years. And those years of intermediate school are important ones in a young person's growth.

At age 11 and 12, pupils are in transition from childhood to adolescence. There could hardly be a better time to help them relate to people in the real world rather than by text and images on screen.

It is only to be hoped misdirected legalism does not interfere with Kowhai's bold ban and that many other intermediate schools adopt the same policy.

Young people can make good educational use of the internet without living on it.