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The use of personal technology devices* at School

This policy reflects the importance the school places on students displaying courtesy, consideration and respect for others whenever they are using personal technology devices.

Certain personal technology devices banned from school

Students must not bring valuable personal technology devices like cameras, digital video cameras or MP3 players to school as there is a risk of damage or theft. Such devices will be confiscated by school staff and may be collected at the end of the day from the school office. Breaches of this prohibition may result in discipline.


Permitted personal technology devices used contrary to this policy on school premises will be confiscated by school staff. They will be made available for collection from the school office at the end of the school day unless required to be kept for purposes of disciplinary investigation, when it will only be returned in the presence of a parent.

Devices potentially containing evidence of criminal offences may be reported to the police. In such cases police may take possession of such devices for investigation purposes and students and parents will be advised to contact Queensland Police Service (QPS) directly.

Students who have a personal technology device confiscated more than once will not be permitted to have a personal technology device at school for at least one month, or longer if deemed necessary by the Principal.

Personal technology device etiquette

Bringing personal technology devices to school is not encouraged by the school because of the potential for theft and general distraction and/or disruption associated with them. However, if they are brought to school, they must be turned off and out of sight during assemblies or classes. Personal technology devices may be used at morning tea and lunch breaks and before and after school.

Recording voice and images

Every member of the school community should feel confident about participating fully and frankly in all aspects of school life without concern that their personal privacy is being invaded by them being recorded without their knowledge or consent.

We uphold the value of trust and the right to privacy at Grandchester State School. Students using personal technology devices to record inappropriate behaviours or incidents (such as vandalism, fighting, bullying, staged fighting or pranks etc) for the purpose of dissemination among the student body or outside the school, by any means (including distribution by phone or internet posting) builds a culture of distrust and disharmony.

Students must not record images anywhere that recording would not reasonably be considered appropriate (e.g. in change rooms, toilets or any other place where a reasonable person would expect to be afforded privacy).

Recording of events in class is not permitted unless express consent is provided by the class teacher.

A student at school who uses a personal technology device to record private conversations, ordinary school activities (apart from social functions like graduation ceremonies) or violent, illegal or embarrassing matter capable of bringing the school into public disrepute is considered to be in breach of this policy.

Even where consent is obtained for such recording, the school will not tolerate images or sound captured by personal technology devices on the school premises or elsewhere being disseminated to others, if it is done for the purpose of causing embarrassment to individuals or the school, for the purpose of bullying[1] or harassment, including racial and sexual harassment, or where without such intent a reasonable person would conclude that such outcomes may have or will occur.

Students involved in:

  • recording
  • disseminating material (through text messaging, display, internet uploading etc.)
  • knowingly being a subject of a recording.

Breach of this policy may be subject to discipline (including suspension and recommendation for exclusion).

Students should note that the recording or dissemination of images that are considered indecent (such as nudity or sexual acts involving children), is against the law and if detected by the school will result in a referral to QPS.

Text communication

The sending of text messages that contain obscene language and/or threats of violence may amount to bullying and or harassment or even stalking, and will subject the sender to discipline and possible referral to QPS. Students receiving such text messages at school, should ensure they keep the message as evidence and bring the matter to the attention of the school office.

Assumption of cheating

Personal technology devices may not be taken into or used by students at exams or during class assessment unless expressly permitted by staff. Staff will assume students in possession of such devices during exams or assessments are cheating. Disciplinary action will be taken against any student who is caught using a personal technology device to cheat during exams or assessments.

Recording private conversations and the Invasion of Privacy Act 1971

It is important that all members of the school community understand that under the Invasion of Privacy Act 1971, ‘a person is guilty of an offence against this Act if the person uses a listening device to overhear, record, monitor or listen to a private conversation’. It is also an offence under the Act for a person who has overheard, recorded, monitored or listened to a conversation to which s/he is not a party to publish or communicate the substance or meaning of the conversation to others.

Students need to understand that some conversations are private and therefore to overhear, record, monitor or listen to such private conversations may be in breach of this Act, unless consent to the recording is appropriately obtained.

Special circumstances arrangement

Students who require the use of a personal technology device in circumstances that would contravene this policy (for example to assist with a medical condition or other disability or for a special project) should negotiate a special circumstances arrangement with the Deputy Principal or Principal.

* Personal Technology Devices includes, but is not limited to, games devices (such as Portable gaming devices, Tamagotchis®, laptop computers, PDAs, Blackberrys®, cameras and/or voice recording devices (whether or not integrated with a mobile phone or MP3 player), mobile telephones, IPods® and devices of a similar nature.

[1] Education Queensland does not tolerate bullying behaviour at schools. This includes bullying conducted by electronic means.