Coláiste Choilm Policy on Personal Electronic Devices/Mobile Phones
Colaiste Choilm recognises the important part that personal electronic devices play in the life of our students and their importance as a means of maintaining contact with Parents/Guardians.
However these personal electronic devices have also posed major problems for all schools in relation to:
- Disruption of teaching and learning
- Invasion of the right to privacy of staff and students
- Cyber Bullying
- Discipline (e.g. arranging fights, illegal substance abuse, vandalism etc.)
- Recording objectionable material for display on the internet.
It is accepted that mobile phones are widely used by students and may be brought onto the school grounds. This is permissible as is the use of phones at break times, but it is understood that all students must use mobile phones in a responsible and mature manner.
This policy aims to maintain a safe, nurturing environment where the personal dignity and rights of the school community are preserved.
For the purposes of this policy “mobile phones” is the generic term Coláiste Choilm applies to mobile phones, smart phones, personal musical devices or any other personal electronic/digital device which can be used to do some or all of the following:
- record audio and/or video
- take photographs/images
- transmit/receive images or recordings or other media
- transmit/receive phone calls, text messages
- upload/download to or from the internet
Mobile Phone Usage:
In order to assist the school in implementing this policy, parents/guardians are asked not to contact students by mobile at any time during the school day. Contact with students in the school may be made through the office at 01-8401420 and students are directed to use the office telephone if needed: this is especially important where emergencies arise as it allows the school to provide appropriate support for a student who may become distressed or upset.
- Phones brought to school are entirely at the owner’s risk and Coláiste Choilm will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage. Likewise the school does not take responsibility for investigating the loss or theft of these items.
- The safety and security of devices is wholly a matter for students/parents/guardians. It is advisable that phones and any other personal digital devices are locked in their school locker for safety.
- It is strongly advised that students mark their personal electronic devices or mobile phones with their names and use passwords to ensure unauthorised use cannot be made on their devices
- When leaving a classroom during class time e.g. students must leave their phones on the teachers desk.
- The Department of Education and Skills does not recognize mobile phones as appropriate for use as calculators or clocks. The school embraces the Department policy and therefore students using this as a pretext should not produce mobile phones.
- No photographs can be taken or recordings, videos or audio, made with personal electronic devices or mobile phones of any person on the school premises or grounds. Using devices in such a way can seriously infringe a person’s rights and appropriate sanctions will be imposed up to and including expulsion.
- For all of the above reasons it is the policy of the school that personal electronic devices and\or mobile devices must be powered off as soon as the student enters the school grounds .
- Personal electronic devices and\or mobile devices may be used at the following break-times only
o 10:50 – 11:00
o 13:00 – 13:40
- Use of mobile phones to download, store, record or transmit unacceptable images, video, sound, texts or other files is entirely unacceptable and will lead to the confiscation of the phone. The school reserves the right to request a student to submit his/her mobile phone for inspection if, in the opinion of the school, a student is suspected of inappropriate use.
- Any staff member has the right to confiscate a personal electronic device. A refusal to hand over the device will result in the Code of Behaviour being applied.
- Any breach of these rules may result in the personal electronic device/mobile phone being confiscated ( including SIM card) and may be collected by the parent/guardian after 3.40pm. A second breach will mean confiscation for 1 week. Third offense will result in the student not being allowed have a phone in his possession
- The personal electronic device may be returned to the student before 5 days have elapsed where the Principal/ Deputy Principal deem it necessary.
- Incidents were students use personal electronic devices or mobile phones to bully others or send offensive messages will be investigated under the Anti-Bullying policy. In the event that a personal electronic devices or mobile phone is used inappropriately (e.g. inappropriate photos/recordings/texts), Parents/Guardians will be asked to attend the school with their son for a meeting with the Principal to discuss the matter before the device is returned to the student. Suspension or a more serious sanction may be imposed. It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a device or mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the Gardai in such incidents.
Mobile Phones & Learning:
Mobile phones have become a powerful source of communication and learning. While restrictions to their use must apply in a variety of circumstances – meetings, classrooms, etc. nonetheless, in Coláiste Choilm we recognize that mobile phones can enhance learning, and can be used to powerful positive effect.
Teachers may permit the appropriate use of mobile phones in pursuit of learning within classrooms and other learning settings within the school. However, use of mobile phones other than for specific learning purposes in such situations will be considered a breach of this policy.
Students may take images, audio and/or video recordings as part of their learning for personal study or group-work. However this may only be done with the express permission of those involved (students, teachers, visitors to the school), nor can such images be loaded to the internet without the express permission of those involved.
From time to time students may be asked to download software applications (apps) to their mobile phones, in order to take part in specific learning activities. In such circumstances it is the responsibility of the students and/or their Parents/Guardians to ensure that the mobile phone has suitable and up-to-date anti-virus protection to prevent damage by digital viruses or malware.
Student and Parent/Guardian Cooperation:
The school authorities request the total co-operation of parents/guardians in this matter as the policy is in place to ensure the health and safety of all school personnel and to provide the best possible environment in which teaching and learning can take place and where the personal dignity and rights of all the members of the community are preserved.
This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals.
Ratified by the BOM on ___________________________ Chairperson______________________________________
I agree to follow the school’s policy on Personal Electronic Devices\Mobile Phones.
Student’s signature: _________________________________________ Date:__________________
I/We agree to accept the school’s policy on Personal Electronic Devices\Mobile Phones.
Parent/Guardian signature:_____________________________________ Date:__________________