The management of Réalt na Mara School prefers that pupils do not take mobile phones or other electronic devices into school. If pupils choose to do so, the school authorities cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever if the phone or electronic device is lost or misappropriated. 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.
Where a pupil brings a mobile phone to school, the phone must be kept out of sight, SWITCHED OFF during the school day (this includes all lunch breaks), and may not be used for any purpose, on school premises, grounds, or during off-site school activities (such as school swimming or sports activities). The only exception to this is in an emergency. If, in an exceptional case, a pupil needs to use his/her phone, IT MUST BE WITH THE PRIOR PERMISSION OF A MEMBER OF STAFF.
Pupils who ignore this policy and use a mobile on school premises without permission, or have the phone switched on, will be required to hand over their phone to a member of staff and parents will be asked to collect it from the school office.
In acknowledgement of the right to privacy of both staff and pupils, the use of the camera function on camera phones will be deemed a serious breach of the code of behaviour. In addition, camera phones are strictly forbidden at all times at swimming lessons and in toilets. If pupils must take camera phones to school, we strongly recommend that they leave them in one of the school offices.
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 discipline policy and will treat breaches as they would treat any other breach of school discipline.
Mobile phones which are found in the school and whose owner cannot be located should be handed to a member of staff. Therefore, pupils should mark their mobile phone clearly with their name.
It is strongly advised that pupils use passwords/pin numbers to ensure that unauthorised 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.
This policy states that any amendments which need to be made will be in keeping with the general philosophy of our Code of Behaviour and the school’s Mission Statement, and that amendments will be communicated to the members of the school community in writing. This policy on mobile phones and electronic devices was formulated by staff following consultative process.