While the school acknowledges that cell phones have become an important and useful means of communication, it is also aware of the fact that their use and abuse, particularly by children, pose social, ethical and safety consequences.
The school would prefer students not to have cell phones in their possession while they are at school or in school uniform for the following reasons:
- Students who carry or use cell phones in public, particularly while travelling to and from school, have become the targets of criminals who accost them and rob them of their cell phones and other possessions. These attacks occur most frequently when students are seen using their cell phones, particularly when they are expensive and / or “latest models” of sought after brands.
- Theft of cell phones at school from bags and blazers is a persistent problem.
- Students are careless with their cell phones and leave them lying around or in blazers and bags which are left unattended. Lost and mislaid cell phones are frequently claimed to be stolen when this is not the case.
- Cell phones can be used to cheat in examinations and tests. For this reason, no cell phones are permitted in examination venues or in teaching venues when tests and examinations are written. This same policy applies to the externally set national examinations.
- Cell phones are increasingly multi-functional , offering an array of features which are designed to attract and entertain users. The ready availability of these features means that students with cell phones tend to access and use these features in the classroom, becoming distracted from their work. Students with low levels of self-discipline, poor concentration and / or poor work ethic are more likely to become distracted by these features.
- Cell phones allow students unlimited access to salacious and age-inappropriate material.
- Cell phones make students vulnerable to approaches by undesirable individuals or groups including criminals and paedophiles.
- Cell phones may carry private and personal material, including photographs, video clips, voice messages and personal details which may become accessible by undesirable individuals and groups when cell phones are lost, borrowed or stolen.
The school will not take responsibility for the theft or loss of any cell phone brought to school, no matter what the circumstances. This includes the loss or theft of cell phones that may be handed in to teachers and / or coaches for safekeeping, as well as to cell phones which have been confiscated from students who use them in defiance of the school rules.
Students who, despite the school’s policy, insist on bringing a cell phone to school are required to ensure that it is:
- turned off (not on silent) and is not visible while they are in the school building
- is not on their person when they are writing any test and not in the examination venue when they are writing examinations.
The school will not, in principle, under any circumstances engage parents in discussions resulting from complaints parents have received from their children by cell phone during the school day.