Mobile phones are sometimes viewed as enhancing security for students travelling to and from schools or institutes. It is the responsibility of students who bring mobile phones to school to use them appropriately.
Generally, a mobile phone will be used inappropriately if it:
- disrupts or is likely to disrupt the learning environment or interfere with the operation of the school or institute
- threatens or is likely to threaten the safety or well being of any person
- is in breach of any law.
Inappropriate use of mobile phones includes students using them to bully, intimidate or otherwise harass other people through any SMS or text message, photographic, video or other data transfer system available on the phone.
Images on mobile phones
If the image is of a person under the age of 16 engaged in sexual activity or in a sexual context, it will be regarded as child pornography for the purposes of the Crimes Act. Any person who produces, sends, transmits, disseminates or possesses child pornography is guilty of an offence and is liable to a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Engaging in this behaviour is also likely to be a breach of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and carries a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment.
A person is guilty of an offence if he or she films or attempts to film, another person who:
- is in a state of undress, or is engaged in a private act, in circumstances in which a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy
- the person does not consent to being filmed
Incidents of this nature that occur in school will be reported to the police.
Consequences of inappropriate use
If students use mobile phones inappropriately, principals have the right to take action.
Depending on the circumstances, action may include:
- banning students from using mobile phones during the course of the school or institute day;
- confiscating mobile phones from individual students;
- requiring students to hand in their mobile phones to designated school staff at the beginning of the school day for collection when students go home;
- applying student disciplinary provisions.
Loss, damage and theft
Students and parents are reminded that students bring mobile phones to the school or institute at their own risk – the school will not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to mobile phones.