Images of teachers or other staff members shared as part of teacher targeted bullying, including ‘upskirting’ images (the practice of taking an illegal photo of someone’s genitals or genital area, without consent).
When considering the risks of file sharing features, schools should consider the impact that harmful images and content can have on children and young people. Viewing distressing content could have a long-lasting negative impact.
What Can Schools Do About the Risks of Airdrop and Nearby Share?
Schools should ensure they have effective mobile phone policies and that they are being enforced adequately. Although there is no legal blanket ban on mobile phone usage in schools, schools should consider a ‘phones out of sight’ policy during the school day.
Guidance for removing phones from pupils varies regionally.
“Where the person conducting the search finds an electronic device that is prohibited by the school rules or that they reasonably suspect has been, or is likely to be, used to commit an offence or cause personal injury or damage to property, they may examine any data or files on the device where there is a good reason to do so.”
According to National Education Union, school staff can seize any prohibited item found as a result of a search. They can also seize any item which they consider harmful or detrimental to school discipline.
Schools have the legal right to impose reasonable sanctions if a pupil misbehaves, confiscating something belonging to a child if it’s inappropriate for school (for example, a mobile phone other device.)
Schools in the Isle of Man create their own specific guidelines for confiscating devices. See individual school policies for more information.
Schools can also:
Make sure pupils know how to hide their device on Airdrop and Nearby Share, decline an incoming image and turn off Bluetooth. See our Safety Centre and Safety Cards for more information on how to do this.
Avoid approaching the subject directly: by naming these features directly, you may be introducing something new and encouraging their curiosity. If pupils are already curious, discuss the safety risks of unwanted use.
Ensure you have policies in place so school staff know what to do when self-generated sexual imagery is shared, teacher targeted bullying occurs or when a pupil is sharing inappropriate materials.