This policy has been formulated after consultation with the students and staff of the College.

Rationale

Hazelwood College recognises mobile phones as being an integral part of youth culture. However the duty of care for each and every child in the school is paramount and this policy will attempt to weigh the balance between child protection and safe use of mobile phones in the school.

Purpose

• To inform staff, students and parents about safe mobile phone use in school.
• To highlight the child protection issues of using camera phone technology in the school.
• To raise awareness of mobile phones and external examination policy.
• To eliminate the use of text messaging in school as a form of bullying.
• To determine exactly when mobile phone use is permitted in the school.
• Offer safety guidelines to the students on general mobile phone use.
• To outline the consequences of not adhering to our mobile phone policy.

Definitions

Camera phone: A mobile phone or device which can record still and/or moving images and /or audio recordings.
Text bullying: the use of SMS text, picture or video clip to harass or bully another student either directly to their phone or spread to other phones or internet.
Bluetooth/Infra-red: proximity transfer of information between phones using wireless or infra-red technology.

Mobile phone use in school
• Students are permitted to carry mobile phones into school.
• Hazelwood College does not accept responsibility for damage to, nor loss of, a mobile phone regardless of the circumstance.
• Mobile phones can only be used to make and receive calls up to 9:00 am in the morning, during break time and at lunch time.
• They may not be used in class.
• Under no circumstances is any student permitted to take a photo/video/sound recording on the school premises without first obtaining permission of the subject of the photo/video/sound recording.
• Any student found to be up-loading recordings to the internet depicting the College brand, or involving children in school uniform, will be the subject of a disciplinary enquiry. The College reserves the right to suspend or expel a student for this action.
• The use of mobile telephones is strictly prohibited in the examination hall. This means switched off and handed to the invigilator. According to exam regulations, if students are found with mobile phones they run the risk of being disqualified from public examinations.

Safe use of mobile phones

• Only give your number to close friends and family you can trust.
• Report to a member of staff if someone has taken a picture/video/sound recording of you in school.
• Report to a trusted adult if you receive any text message which is offensive to you. It is best you do not delete this text until you have shown it to an adult.

Advice to parents

Please communicate with your child on their mobile phones at the times outlined above. If there is an emergency situation where you must contact your child outside this time, phone the school office (028 9077 4202) and we will contact your child immediately.

Guidelines on adherence to this policy

• Students who use their mobile phones will be asked to forfeit their phone until the end of the day. Staff should bring this phone to the General Office in an envelope with the student’s name and class and the date written on it.

• If this is refused make a referral directly to the Head of Year.

• Where a student uses their phone inappropriately, i.e. taking photos, videos, etc. report it directly to the Vice Principal or Assistant Principal. The phone will be held and a letter issued to their parents. The phone will be returned to the parent at an arranged interview.

• Serious inappropriate use of mobile phones may result in authorities being involved.