Mobile Phone Policy (2010)
Non-bullying School Ethos
Ramsgrange Community School is committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe learning environment for all students, staff, parents and visitors. Bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our school community.
Ramsgrange Community School have herewith formulated the following mobile phone policy in accordance with our mission statement above which seeks to develop each of our students as a whole person in an atmosphere which centres on respect and in accordance with our non-bullying ethos which centres on providing a caring and safe learning environment for all our students.
Rationale for the Policy
The misuse of mobile phones has a disruptive effect on classroom teaching and learning. There are also inherent dangers associated with the misuse of camera/ picture phones. Staff and pupils must be protected from any invasion of privacy or harassment associated with the misuse of mobile phones. Nevertheless, the Board recognises that mobile phones do have a positive aspect and can be helpful as a communication tool to protect students from everyday risks involving personal security and safety. There are also ever-increasing concerns about children travelling alone on public transport or commuting distances to school. The school policy aims to balance the positive against the negative and encourages the responsible use of mobile phones.
Mobile Phone Policy in Ramsgrange Community School
- Where a pupil brings a mobile to school, the phone must be kept out of sight and switched off while the student is on the school premises/ grounds. The only exception to this is in an emergency with the approval of a teacher and with teacher’s permission during school trips/outside activities.
- Any student who wishes to make contact with parents/ guardians must do so through the school office. Parents/ Guardians are reminded that in cases of emergency, the office remains an appropriate point of contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly, and assisted in any appropriate way.
- Under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1953, it is a criminal offence to use a phone to menace, harass or offend another person and as such, management may consider it appropriate to contact the Gardaí.
- Students with mobile phones may not engage in personal attacks, harass a person or post private information about another person using text messages, taking/ sending photos or objectionable images or phone calls.
- Students using mobile phones to bully other students will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the School’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy.
- The misuse of a camera phone – taking or sending inappropriate images, unauthorised recording of staff or pupils, transfer of images of staff or pupils or using the phone to harass – will be considered as a serious discipline offence.
- The above points apply in school and during all offsite school activities such as sporting activities and trips.
- Pupils who use a mobile phone without permission will be required to power off their phone and hand it, including the sim card, to a member of staff. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action being taken in accordance with the School’s Code of Behaviour.
- The phone will be given into the office and parents will then be notified by the office staff. The parent/guardian will be asked to collect the phone in person and pay an administration fee of €5. The Year Head will also be notified by the office staff.
- For any subsequent offences, the above procedure will apply.
- For more serious breach of this policy, Management will respond appropriately and in such cases will have a full range of sanctions open to them and the phone will not be returned until the incident has been dealt with to Management’s satisfaction.
Ramsgrange Community School will incorporate this policy into the School’s Code of Behaviour.
Responsibility for Mobile Phones
- The School accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones.
- The safety and security of mobile phones is wholly the responsibility of students/ parents.
- The School accepts no responsibility for pupils who lose or have their phone stolen while travelling to or from school.
- The school accepts no responsibility for incidents that occur as a result of the phone being confiscated.
Mobile Phone Use and Teaching Staff
The Teaching staff are advised that mobile phones are not to be used in class unless expressly for emergency use.
The Role of Parents in Supporting Pupils.
During school time Parents/Guardians should communicate with their son/daughter through the school’s office only.
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to remind students that mobile phones be switched off on the school premises/grounds.
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to discuss with students the dangers of inappropriate mobile phone use and are encouraged to monitor their son/daughter’s use of mobile phones.
Monitoring, Reviewing and Evaluating
The school will monitor, review and evaluate the policy and all related work and procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure legal compliance and the maintenance of best practice.