Cell phone Policy - Reservoir Hills Secondary School

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Cell phone Policy

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Addendum to school Code of Conduct

1. Preamble

This policy is based on the prescripts in the South African Schools Act Number 84 of 1996. It is an addition to the CODE OF CONDUCT of learners that was developed in 1999 which did not cater for transgressions associated with electronic devices viz, cell phones, MP3 players, hand-held computer games etc.
While the school realises the need for learners to have access to their families telephonically, arrange transport and deal with other emergencies, it was also aware of the fact that:
A. There was a strong possibility of these devices being abused in and out of the classroom.
B. The theft of cell phones was a burgeoning problem and the investigation of such incidents was futile as it was time-consuming.
C. The investigation of theft was placing undue strain on the principal and staff of the school.
D. There was a strong possibility that these devices could be used to cheat in tests and examinations.
E. The multi-functional cell phones were often used to entertain learners and were most likely to distract learners, many of whom have low concentration levels.
F. 3G cell phones can be used to access the internet and children are in a position to access pornographic websites and other less desirable social networking sites.
G. Personal details and images of children can be accessed when these phones are stolen.
H. Being in possession of a cell phone opened children to being targeted by criminals when commuting to school.
I. Regulations governing the conduct of the external National Senior Certificate Examination make it an offence for a cell phone to be carried into an examination venue even if the device is switched off.

Policy

In view of the above,
1. The use of cell phones at school is prohibited.
2. The school will confiscate any cell phone that is switched on and is found in the possession of learners during the course of a lesson or during the breaks.
3. Learners who are forced through personal circumstances, carry a cell phone to school must ensure that the device is switched off. These must be lodges with office for safekeeping and may be retrieved at the end of the school day.
4. Under no circumstances may cell phones be carried into an examination venue even if they are switched off.
5. The school will not under any circumstances be liable for the loss of any cell phone nor will the school investigate the theft of these devices.

Penalties

For the first offence, the phone will be taken away from the learner. The learner will inform the parent of the incident who would then call at school to collect the device.

Obligations of the School

The school has the obligation of informing parents of this policy. Parents of new learners will be given a copy of this policy document together with admission documents. Regular announcements would be made at the weekly school assembly to remind learners of the new policy.

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