Mobile Phones and Devices Acceptable Use Policy
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 phone 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.
Students may take mobile phones to school provided they observe the following conditions:
- Mobile phones must be switched OFF and placed in student’s schoolbag when they arrive in school building each morning. OFF does not mean put on Silent.
- Phones must remain in the schoolbag until the end of the school day, except for main lunch time, 1:10 – 1:50 pm. e., no access during morning breaktimes.
- Students must not use their phone and/or have their phone on their person during the school day. This means that phones must not be used for making calls, checking the time, texting or used as a calculator.
- 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 feel 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 school’s 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.