We in Old Bawn Community School acknowledge the usefulness of mobile phones in certain situations and the importance of parents maintaining contact with their children by mobile phone outside of school times. However, where a pupil brings a mobile phone to school, the phone must be kept out of sight, switched off during the school day and may not be used, for any purpose, on school premises, grounds or during off-site school activities (such as sports activities). The only exception to this is in an emergency or with the approval of a teacher. Students may use their mobile phone before/after school.
Pupils who ignore this policy and use a mobile on school premises without permission will be required to hand over their phone to a member of staff and the phone will be returned to the Student at the end of the term in which it was confiscated.
If a teacher has any suspicion that a mobile phone has unsuitable material stored on it, pupils will be required to hand over the phone to a teacher and parents will be asked to collect it from the school. Where there is a suspicion that the material on the mobile may provide evidence relating to a criminal offence the phone will be handed over to the gardaí for further investigation. Parents will be informed in such circumstances.
The school will incorporate this policy in the school’s Code of Behaviour policy and will treat breaches as they would treat any other breach of school Code of Behaviour.
The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones. The safety and security of mobile phones is wholly a matter for pupils/parents.
The school accepts no responsibility for pupils who lose or have their mobile phones stolen while travelling to and from school.
Pupils should mark their mobile phone clearly with their name.
Mobile phones which are found in the school and whose owner cannot be located should be handed to a member of staff.
It is strongly advised that pupils use passwords/pin numbers to ensure that unauthorized phone calls cannot be made on their phones (e.g. by other pupils, or if stolen). Pupils must keep their password/pin numbers confidential. Mobile phone and/or passwords should not be shared.
Pupils using mobile phones to bully other pupils or send offensive messages/calls will face disciplinary actions as per the School Code of Behaviour.
It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, if action as sanctioned by the School in this regard is deemed ineffective, as with all such incidents, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the Gardaí.
If a student is unwell or needs to contact home, they must follow the recognized school procedures through their Year Head and the general office and not by mobile phone.