Aims of the Policy
This Policy will inform students and parents/guardians of what is expected of them re their use of mobile phones. It will also outline the procedures which will be followed by all staff when students are found to be in breach of this Policy.
Provision of mobile phones to students
The North Monastery Secondary accepts the right of parents/guardians to provide a student with a mobile phone. We understand this may be done for many reasons.
We have experience of students having access to a mobile phone for a short period of time due to a particular family issue which is of short duration. Parents may also provide a student with a mobile phone for security reasons. It means a parent/guardian can contact a student once outside school providing reassurance for the parent/guardian.
Parents and students need to be aware that these devices can create difficulties for students, school management and classroom teachers if they are used inappropriately.
If a student brings a mobile phone on to the campus then the student must adhere to the rules laid down in this policy. These rules have been devised to ensure good order in the classroom and to protect students from unwanted and unsolicited phone calls and messages. This Policy also applies to all school related actvities outside the school campus. The Policy is underpinned by Child Protection and Anti- Bullying Legislation.
All school personnel will adhere to these rules and parents are asked to co-operate with their implementation. If the rules are broken by any student, then sanctions will be applied. Representations cannot be accommodated if the Policy is to be applied fairly.
It is important to note that responsibility for the security of a mobile phone rests solely with the student. The school will accept no responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged phones while the student is on the school campus.
The school accepts no responsibility for phones that are lost or stolen while a student is travelling to and from school.
- Students are allowed to bring a mobile phone to school BUT it must be switched off BEFORE the student enters the school gate.
- Once the phone is turned off outside the school gate it cannot be used for making or receiving phone calls, texting, checking the date/time or listening to music.
- Under no circumstances can a phone be used for making video recordings/audio recordings or taking photographs during school time. Such recordings can be used to bully, harass or intimidate a student. The full rigours of our school Code of Behaviour will be used in these situations. These types of recordings are considered a flagrant breach of child protection guidelines. They also undermine a students’ basic right to come to school free from the threat of intimidation and bullying. A student in breach of this rule could face serious sanctions up to and including expulsion. If a student is found to be in breach of this rule he will be required to delete the recording in the presence of management and a sanction will be applied.
- If a student needs to contact home for any reason he must seek the permission of Management or his Year Head. Once permission is given a parent/guardian will be contacted by the school secretary. Under no circumstances is a student permitted to contact home on his mobile phone during school hours.
- In the case of an emergency a student can be contacted through the school office. The student will be taken from his class as quickly as possible and will be assisted by school staff until such time as a parent arrives on the premises. It is not permissible for a parent to ask a student to keep his phone on during school time in order to receive a text message or phone call.
As a school community we are very mindful that our Code of Behaviour is designed to ensure good order in the school and to create a positive learning environment for all students. The improper use of mobile phones can have a negative effect on the learning environment of the school and also on the health of our students. It should also be noted that the use of a mobile phone to intimidate, harass or bully a student is a criminal offence. We as a school community have a duty to protect students in circumstances where a student uses a mobile phone in a manner which is not alone breaking school rules but is also breaking the law.
It is therefore important to state that school management will involve the Gardai if it is of the view that a school sanction is not appropriate or sufficient for an offence as outlined in the previous paragraph.
If a student is found in breach of of the above rules the following action will be taken
- The staff member who witnessed the student using the phone will remove the phone from the student and the phone will be handed into the office. The SIM card cannot be removed from the phone. The phone will be confiscated for a period of one month from the date of the incident. The Principal or in his absence the Deputy Principal will inform parents/guardians on the appropriate form that the phone has been confiscated.
- If a subsequent incident occurs the phone will be confiscated for the remainder of the school year.
- If a student uses his mobile phone for the purposes of bullying, harassment or intimidation of another student then this matter may be referred to the Board of Management.
The Board of Management will review this policy in May 2016. However any member of the school community is entitled to request a review of the policy at any time.