Mobile Phones and Devices Acceptable Use Policy
This policy is a school-wide policy, for implementation by all staff, students, parents and Board of Management. It has been developed in consultation with the Board of Management, parents, staff and students. The words mobile phone used in this policy should be taken to include all mobile communication devices. This policy applies at all times students are on school grounds, including all school activities and extra-curricular activities.
Mobile phones have become an important and invaluable part of our modern lifestyle. The school understands that there are times when the possession of a mobile phone can provide a sense of safety and security for students and parents during the school day as well as being a powerful learning tool, when used properly. It should be noted that access to a mobile phones is a privilege and not a right on school premises and requires responsibility. The following policy aims to maintain a safe, nurturing environment where the personal dignity and rights of all the members of the school community are preserved. This policy is to be read in conjunction with the school’s Code of Behaviour and Discipline, the Anti-bullying Policy, the IT and Internet Acceptable Usage Policy and other related school policies.
The school aims to provide a happy, safe and stimulating learning environment for all students.
The purpose of this policy is to:
- Promote normal social interaction between students in school
- Ensure that mobile phone usage does not disrupt the learning environment
- Ensure that courtesy, respect and consideration to others are paramount at all times
- Clarify the responsibilities of students, parents and staff with regard to mobile phones
Students may take mobile phones to school provided they observe the following conditions:
- The phone must be switched off and away during all classes, unless otherwise directed by the teacher.
- Mobile phone use is not permitted between classes.
- Students leaving class must leave their phone on the teacher’s desk.
- Students may use their phones at break, 10:50 to 11:10 am and at lunchtime, 1:10 to 1:50 pm.
- Phones should be put in student’s lockers during PE, for safety reasons.
- In order to assist the school in implementing this policy, parents/guardians are asked not to contact students directly by mobile phone during the school day. Contact with the school may be made through the Office at 064-66-40846 and students are directed to use the Office phone in emergencies.
- Students who feels ill, must not contact parents directly by mobile phone. They should go to the school Office first, where the Office staff/Principal/Deputy Principal will assess the situation. If necessary, parents will then be contacted by the Office staff. This ensures that correct Health and Safety and Leaving School procedures are observed. Responsibility cannot be taken by the school authorities for students who arrange independently to go home without following proper procedure. Any such arrangement is a breach of the Code of Behaviour and may incur sanctions.
- No photographs or recording, either video or audio, of a member of the school community, can be made on the mobile phone on the school premises or on school trips, without the schools permission. Using a phone in such a way can seriously infringe on people’s privacy and rights. Uploading such content to any website is considered an extremely serious breach of school policy and criminal law and merits serious sanctions.
- Incidents where students use a mobile phone, at any time, to bully others by sending offensive messages or calls will be investigated under the Anti-Bullying policy by the school. It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, any party involved may consider it appropriate to involve the Gardaí in such incidents. Almost all calls, text messages and emails can be traced, if necessary. The school reserves the right to view the contents of the mobile phone, in the presence of the student, to ensure it contains no images or information which could compromise a member of the school community and will take appropriate action with consideration for the Law and Child Protection guidelines.
- Students are not permitted to have a mobile phone on their person during examinations and will incur a serious sanction.
- School tours: it will be at the discretion of the tour organiser whether mobile phones will be available to students on tours and/or when their use may be curtailed, in the best interests of all.
- The school accepts no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones, unless it has been confiscated by school authorities. Otherwise, the safety and security of mobile phones is wholly a matter for students/parents. It is strongly recommended that students put their name on their phone and use passwords to protect against unauthorised usage.
- If a student is found to be using a mobile phone during class, between classes or if a phone goes off in class and it is a first time, then the phone is confiscated until the end of the school day, held in the school office and returned to the student. The student will be put on one lunchtime detention. The student must switch off the phone before handing it up to the class teacher.
- If it happens a second time, the phone will be confiscated for 24 hours and returned only to a parent after the end of the next school day. The student will be put on two lunchtime detentions. If a phone is confiscated on a Friday, the parent may sign it out after 1:15pm. Otherwise, it will be held until after school on following Monday.
- If there is a third breach of this policy, the phone will be kept for one week i.e. 7 days and will be returned to a parent only. It is hoped that very few students will put themselves in this position.
- Any further breaches will require more extreme sanctions: the phone will be confiscated and the student and the parents/guardians will attend a meeting with the Principal.
- A Record Sheet will be maintained and held in the school Office and all breaches of this policy will be put on official student records.