Personal Electronic Devices And On-Line Social Networking

Our goal as a Roman Catholic school system is to support the healthy development of children and youth in a caring, Christ-centred learning environment. The London District Catholic School Board is committed to provide meaningful programming so that all students can achieve high standards in critical thinking and collaborative learning to develop effective communication skills. The integration of information technologies is an imperative factor to support equity of outcomes for students and to engage their cognitive development for 21st Century Learning.

The London District Catholic School Board is committed to ensure safe, productive, and engaging learning environments in our school communities. In keeping with its Mission, the London District Catholic School Board affirms its belief in the dignity and sacredness of the human person and its responsibility to foster an environment and attitude that is conducive to the academic, spiritual and social development of all students. The Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations call all graduates to be discerning believers who are reflective, collaborative and responsible citizens to communicate information clearly and honestly with sensitivity to others.
Existing and emerging digital technologies present new opportunities and challenges for Catholic school communities. The Board, therefore, delegates to the Director the responsibility for establishing and implementing regulations and procedures for the appropriate use of personal electronic devices and online social networking that follow these guidelines.
PEDs are portable electronic handheld equipment that can be used for the purpose of communication, entertainment, data management, word processing, wireless Internet access, image capture/recording, sound recording and information transmitting and/or receiving.
They include, but are not limited to, existing and emerging mobile communication systems and smart technologies (cell phones, smart phones, I-phones, walkie-talkies, pagers, etc.), portable internet devices (mobile managers, mobile messengers, BlackBerry™ handsets, etc.), PDAs (Palm® organizers, pocket PCs, etc.), handheld entertainment systems (video games, CD players, compact DVD players, MP3 players, iPods©, Walkman™, etc.), digital or film cameras, digital or analogue audio recorders or video recorders (tape recorders, camcorders, etc.), spy gadgets (spy cameras, covert listening devices, etc.), and any other convergent communication technologies that do any number of the previously mentioned functions.
The use of portable electronic devices (PED) is permitted on school premises under limited conditions as authorized by the Principal for the sole purpose of enhancing academic achievement while respecting the dignity and safety of all members of our school community.
Prohibited uses of PEDs by students and employees shall result in disciplinary actions up to and including confiscation, suspension, expulsion, and/or the involvement of police services. In addition, the London District Catholic School Board establishes the following regulations to prohibit the inappropriate use of PEDs:
  • Use in any way that compromises the academic integrity of student learning assessment and/or evaluation. PEDs shall only be used in learning environments under the direction of the Principal and classroom teacher.
  • Use in any way that interferes with or disrupts the instructional day or the teaching / learning environment. The Principal and classroom teacher shall ensure that PEDs are used only for instructional purposes and use all authority to support the integrity of student learning.
  • Use in any way that violates an individual’s reasonable expectation of dignity and privacy.
  • Use in any way that compromises personal and/or school safety (i.e. bullying or harassment, etc.) or use in any way that facilitates the commission of a crime.
  • Any other use of PEDs that compromises an individual’s reputation, character or interferes with school security, personal safety, individual dignity, privacy or academic integrity.
Failure to comply with this policy will result in the confiscation of the PED and/or disciplinary action as outlined in the Education Act.  The school and the London District Catholic School Board assume no responsibility for the theft, loss, recovery, repair or replacement of any PED brought onto school property, whether the item is lost, stolen or confiscated.
It is the policy of St. Joseph Catholic High School that PEDs are to be kept out of sight, turned off and not used during the school day unless used for instructional purposes authorized by the Principal.  To prevent the loss or damage of PEDs, the school encourages students to leave PEDs at home.

Consequences for Prohibited Use of PED 

  • 1st Offence – Warning Note and Contract Signed by student and parent
  • 2nd Offence – Letter signed by parent to get phone back – No note – No Phone 
  • 3rd – Suspension.
Online social networking includes but is not limited to, existing and emerging networking sites, including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Online social networking and the increasing use of Internet sites which contain personal information also increases the opportunity for unwelcome and unsolicited written material, pictures or videos.  Harassment in any form, including comments posted electronically, is unacceptable.
  • All inappropriate references to Board or school personnel, students and/or any member of the school community in computer-related mediums such as web pages or e-mail which is deemed to be conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school are violations of this policy.
  • Using computer technology to communicate inappropriate, demeaning, harassing or threatening messages shall be subject to disciplinary action.  The Provincial Code of Conduct extends the right to discipline to include actions taken off school property and outside school activities where the activity has an impact on the school climate.  Police may be contacted, along with other community agencies, and the actions could result in suspension, expulsion, and/or criminal charges.
  • Using any technology to circumvent the security, safety and legislative protocols of the Board and the Ministry of Education is a violation of this policy.