Learning
Emmaus College Personal Mobile Devices Policy

Rationale

Emmaus College recognises that there are times when it is genuinely appropriate and useful for students to have access to a mobile phone - for example, to contact parents in emergencies or to confirm or change a collection time after school. It is not necessary, nor acceptable however, for mobile phones to be switched on or used during classes. The increased ownership of mobile phones requires that school administrators, teachers, students, and parents take steps to ensure that mobile phones are used responsibly within the school environment. The procedures applying to the inappropriate use and security of mobile phones, apply equally to the inappropriate use of portable ICT device games, MP3, iPods/iPads and similar devices. This policy also applies to students during school excursions, camps, extra-curricular activities and/or other off campus supervised activities as well as use in the college library.

Responsibility

It is the responsibility of students who bring personal mobile devices onto school premises to adhere to the guidelines outlined in this document. Personal mobile devices that are brought to school are used entirely at the owner's risk. The College cannot accept any responsibility for theft, loss, damage or health effects (potential or actual) resulting from the use of these devices. Students and parents should recognise, however, that personal mobile devices are a highly prized target for theft and, accordingly, should always be stored in a safe and secure place.

Acceptable Uses

Parents are reminded that in cases of emergency, the school office remains a vital and appropriate point of contact and can ensure that your child is reached quickly, and assisted in any appropriate way. The school office must be the first point of contact. Any student, who is feeling unwell at school and needs to go home, must arrange this through the Nurse's Station. Under no circumstances should students use either mobile or school phones to contact home and make arrangements to leave except through the Nurse's Station, House Leaders or the respective Assistant Principals or Head of Campus.

Unacceptable Uses

Mobile phones should be switched off during lessons, private study times, educational activities such as assemblies, during examinations and when they are stored in a locker. They should not be used in any manner or place that is disruptive to the normal routines of the College or to other people. This includes the sending and receiving of text messages or data. Should there be disruptions to classes caused by a personal mobile device, the responsible student will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the House Leaders, Assistant Principal or Principal. This may involve the confiscation of the mobile phone until the end of the school day.

Personal mobile devices are not to be used as calculators in classes or during assessment tasks or exams. Personal mobile devices are not permitted into examinations and other assessments. Students’ results may be penalised if they take personal mobile devices into the examination room.

NB: VCAA regulations expressly state that NO ELECTRONIC device of any form may be taken into examinations.

Personal mobile devices are not to be used for playing games, to check the time, to check their school timetable, to be used as a calculator or used to take photographs/movies. 

 In addition, personal mobile devices are not to be taken into change rooms, toilets/shower areas, sporting venues. No photos or videos are permitted without the express permission of teachers and students involved. This is a breach of the privacy laws. State & Federal authorities could be involved should individuals wish to take action.

Theft or damage

Students who bring a personal mobile device onto school premises should keep it in their locker or pocket. Telephones should not be left in unattended bags. The school accepts no responsibility for replacing mobile phones that are lost, stolen or damaged whilst on college premises or on college sponsored functions.

The College accepts no responsibility for students who lose or have their mobile phones stolen while travelling to and from school. It is strongly advised that students use passwords/pin numbers to ensure that unauthorized phone calls cannot be made on their phones (eg by other students, or if stolen). Students must keep their password/pin numbers confidential. Mobile phones and/or passwords must not be shared.

Parents and students should ensure that such phones are properly and adequately insured as personal property.

Inappropriate conduct

  • Any student who uses vulgar, derogatory, or obscene language while using a personal mobile device will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the Head of House.
  • Students with mobile phones may not engage in personal attacks, harass another person, or post private information about another person using SMS messages, taking/sending photos or video or objectionable images, and phone calls. Students using mobile phones to bully other students will face disciplinary actions. It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person.  If necessary, the school may consider it appropriate to involve State & Federal Authorities.
  • Students using mobile phones to bully other students will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the House Leaders.
  • Any student/s caught using a mobile phone to cheat in exams or assessment will face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the respective Assistant Principal (Director of Year 9.)
  • Should students receive unwelcome phone calls or text messages during school time they must report them to the respective Assistant Principal (Director of Year 9).
     

Personal Mobile Devices with Cameras

Personal mobile devices with cameras and video capabilities create privacy issues for schools. These issues include: images of people taken without their knowledge; images saved and then sent to other people and posting of these images to the internet or social networking sites. This creates the potential for gross invasion of privacy in areas around the school such as change rooms and toilets. In cases where there are gross invasions of privacy or where student images are used without permission (eg sent to another person on the Internet). Serious disciplinary as well as potential legal consequences can ensue.

Students must not lend a phone/iPad to another student for use as a phone, for text messaging or for use as a camera or video recording device. The student who owns the phone/iPad will be held responsible for its use or any misuse.

Sanctions

Students infringing the rules noted above may have their personal mobile device confiscated. The device will be taken to a secure place within the college and cannot be retrieved until after the final class of the day. Parents may be contacted, if a student continually fails to adhere to this policy.