The use of mobile phone technology is a valid and important part of our young people’s lives and, as a college, we would like to assist our students to appropriately use mobile technology, as well as learn and demonstrate mobile phone etiquette. It is our aim to ensure students can manage the many functions of a mobile phone as they grow into young adults, responsibly and respectfully. Learning digital citizenship, and managing some of its risks, is a part of adolescence, and teaching our students how to conduct themselves online, and stay safe in the world of social media, is an important focus for the college community.
We aim to work with our parent community, as partners, so that all students are able to use a mobile phone maturely and without incident. We also recognise that there are times when use of a mobile phone can enhance the learning process (ie. taking photos of homework or explanation on the board, recording a speech or presentation for feedback later, to set reminders for tasks that are due, etc.) Fremantle College also recognises that there are times when it is genuinely appropriate and useful for students to have access to a mobile phone for communication, for example to contact parents in emergencies, or to confirm or change a collection time after drama, music rehearsals or sports practice.
However, it is not usually necessary, nor acceptable, for mobile phones to be switched on or used during college lessons unless appropriate to the lesson and under teacher direction. Often, using a mobile phone in class can be a distraction to students and their learning.
With respect to mobile phones, the following guidelines apply:
- As a general rule, mobile phone use by students should only be in cases of emergency. Any student who is feeling unwell at college and needs to go home, must arrange this through the nurse in the Health Centre in Student Services. Under no circumstance may students use mobiles to contact home and make arrangements to leave.
- Courtesy, consideration of and respect for others are paramount at all times. This includes online communication via social media, text and email.
- Mobile phones brought to and kept at college is entirely at the students’ risk. The college cannot accept any responsibility for theft, loss or damage resulting from mobile phone use. Fremantle College does not have insurance that covers theft or damage of mobile phones. Students and parents should recognise that mobile phones can be targets for theft and, accordingly, phones should always be stored in a safe and secure place.
- Mobile phones must be switched off during lessons, private study times or if they are stored in a locker, unless given permission by the specific teacher of that lesson. 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 playing games. They are to be used as calculators only when deemed appropriate by the classroom teacher.
- Mobile phones are not to be taken into examinations.
- Students are not to use their phone to video students or staff during the college day.
Any student filming a student or staff member either in class or in the yard without their consent is in serious breach of the college rules and this may result in suspension from college.
Non-observance of these guidelines will result in the mobile phone being confiscated and privileges restricted or withdrawn. If the mobile phone is confiscated, it will need to be collected from Student Services at the end of the college day. Depending on the nature of the breach, it may not be returned, especially if the breach is serious and involves police intervention. If a student phone is confiscated for inappropriate use, staff will use a Fremantle College Mobile Phone Confiscation envelope to ensure it is kept safe and deliver it to the Student Services reception for pick up after school. If a student does not respond to these reminders about mobile phone use, the process will escalate to a point where it is forwarded for collection from the Associate Principal and/or by the parent. Staff cannot accept any responsibility for a mobile phone during the period in which it is confiscated.
Whilst the majority of students will always do the right and responsible thing when it comes to using mobile phone technology, it is important to be aware of the importance of these guidelines and we ask that parents support the process if these guidelines are not adhered to. These guidelines should also be read in conjunction with the Fremantle College Computer Acceptable Use Policy.