POLICIES AND COMMITTEES
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexually defined behaviour which can range from misbehaviour of an irritating nature to the most serious forms such as sexual abuse and assault, including rape.
The Sexual Harassment of Women (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 defines sexual harassment to include any one or more of the following unwelcome acts or behaviour (whether directly or by implication) namely:
- Physical contact and advances
- A demand or request for sexual favour
- Making sexually coloured remarks
- Showing pornography
- Any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
Sexual harassment at the workplace is any unwelcome sexually defined behaviour which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, abusive or offensive working environment.
The Constitution of India guarantees several rights to children and enables the State to make provisions to ensure that the tender age of children is not abused. Child Abuse was and continues to be, one of the most heinous crimes designed and perpetuated by human beings against some of the most vulnerable and defenseless sections of the community. Globally, it has been recognized and seen as a particularly burdensome challenge. According to the World Health Organization, “Child maltreatment, sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity. Within this broad definition, five subtypes can be distinguished – physical abuse; sexual abuse; neglect and negligent treatment; emotional abuse; and exploitation”.
Types Of Abuse
Physical Abuse: Includes hitting, kicking, punching, biting, burning, shaking, drowning, smothering and giving drugs or alcohol (includes corporal punishment)
- Frequent injuries or unexplained bruises, fractures, welts, burns or cuts
- Depression and anxiety and/or aggression and violence.
- Problems with relationships and socializing / distant and withdrawn.
- Wears inappropriate clothing to cover up injuries, such as a coat on warm days.
- Running away
- Sleeps in Class /appears drowsy
Emotional Abuse: Includes threats, humiliation, sarcasm, degrading punishments, undermining confidence
- Possible delayed physical, emotional and mental development.
- Being unable to play or socialize well with others
- Fearful of making mistakes
- Sudden speech disorders or neurotic behaviour such as rocking
- Low self-esteem / confidence
- Crying inconsolably
Sexual Abuse: Includes kissing, touching genitals or breasts, vaginal or anal intercourse, oral sex, and encouraging to look at pornography, trading grades for sexual favors.
- Aggressive behaviour, risk taking and missing school or running away.
- Sleep problems and bed-wetting or soiling.
- Negative thoughts / not looking after themselves / low self esteem
- Displaying sexually inappropriate behaviour
- Anal or vaginal soreness
- Unexplained bleeding from private parts.
Substance Abuse : Includes intake of Psychoactive /alcoholic /narcotic substance /tabacco or engage in buying or selling of any above mentioned substance.
- Aggressive bahaviour, risk taking, missing school.
- Low self-steem/ confidence
- Unable to socialize well with others
- Day dreaming ,lethargic
Neglect: Includes lack of food, medical attention, supervision, clothing etc.
- Delayed development
- Poor hygiene, unwashed clothes or inadequate clothes
- Untreated medical conditions
- Being hungry or tired all the time
- Missing school or difficulties with school work
- Poor self esteem
- Withdrawn and difficulty making friends and/or anti-social behavior
Be familiar with your school’s child protection policy, procedure and know who is the child protection lead in with your department. Ensure the students are also aware about reporting the abuse.
- Listen to the child, reassure them that they have been brave but do not investigate.
- Explain to the child that you have to talk to the child protection lead as you need to see what can be done. Explain that you will only speak to people who need to know.
- Act immediately and report to the child protection lead so an assessment of risk can take place. Any delay could leave the child in danger.
- Keep records of all conversations and actions taken.
- Be transparent with the child so that he/she can be involved at each stage.
- Pass on all concerns to the child protection lead in your department. No matter how small.
- Keep records of any concerns.
Be vigilant at all times, in case of a discloser follow the given instructions:
- Immediately tell the child that you believe in him/her.
- Keep your own body language calm and composed.
- Use the language in which the child is comfortable.
- Acknowledge it is difficult to talk about such things.
- Tell the child this happens to other children also and that he/she is not the only one.
- Tell him/her that he/she is not responsible for what happened and did not deserve it.
- Tell him/her that sometimes adults do things that are not OK (avoid saying that the offender is "sick").
- Everything you can to support, comfort and reassure the child.
- Explain to the child that the teacher needs to share the discloser with the concerned authorities in the benefit of the child.
- Make notes of facts of the disclosure after the child has left and fill the Child Protection Form.
In case of a discloser follow the given instructions:
- Do not investigate, JUST LISTEN.
- Do not make the child repeat with the discloser.
- Do not make notes or do recordings in front of the child.
- Do not take confessions in writing.
- Do not make false promises.
- Do not share the incident with people who do not need to know about it.
- Do not delay reporting the incident to the authorities/departmental heads beyond 24 hours.
A child needs protection from people with unhealthy attitude present in the School campus. These include other School students, administrators, teachers and rest of the School staff (i.e., cleaning agency workers, office staff, security workers, etc). Child protection can be ensured through appropriate action against bullying; corporal punishment; any sort of physical, verbal or sexual abuse and indiscipline, violence or substance abuse. Therefore, Child protection policy includes sub-policies namely-
- Anti Corporal Punishment Policy
- Anti Bullying Policy
- School Discipline and Substance Abuse Policy
The Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE, 2009), clearly states that no child shall be subject to “physical punishment or mental harassment” in schools. Those officials that contravene this provision shall be liable for disciplinary action under service rules applicable to them.
It is not easy to define corporal punishment as it involves humiliation and insult which a child feels as a subject. Considering the millions of ways in which punishment is perpetrated on children in contemporary times, it is impossible to exhaust all the forms of insinuations and violence. However, following behaviour has been categorically put under Anti corporal policy of the school.
Physical punishment is understood as any action that causes pain, hurt/injury and discomfort to a child, however light. Examples of physical punishment include but are not restricted to the following:
- Causing physical harm to children by hitting, kicking, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling the hair, boxing ears, smacking, slapping, and spanking or with any implement (cane, stick, shoe, chalk, dusters, belt, whip, giving electric shock etc.)
- Making children assume an uncomfortable position (standing on bench, standing against the wall in a chair-like position, standing with schoolbag on head, holding ears through legs, kneeling etc.)
- Forced ingestion of anything (for example: washing soap, mud, chalk, hot spices etc.)
- Detention in the classroom, library, toilet or any closed space in the school.
Mental harassment is understood as any non-physical treatment that is detrimental to the academic and psychological well-being of a child. It includes but is not restricted to the following:
- Sarcasm that hurts or lowers the child’s dignity; Calling names and scolding using humiliating adjectives, intimidation;
- Using derogatory remarks for the child, including pinning of slogans;
- Ridiculing the child with regard to his/her background or status or parental occupation or caste;
- Ridiculing the child with regard to his/her health status or that of the family – especially HIV/AID Sand tuberculosis;
- Belittling a child in the classroom due to his/her inability to meet the teacher’s expectations of academic achievement;
- Punishing or disciplining a child, not recognizing that most children who perform poorly in academics are actually children with special needs. Such children could have conditions like learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mild developmental delay etc.
- Using punitive measures to correct a child and even labeling him/her as difficult; such as a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who may not only fare poorly in academics, but also pose a problem in management of classroom behaviors;
- ‘Shaming’ the child to motivate the child to improve his performance and
- Ridiculing a child with developmental problems such as learning difficulty or a speech disorder, such as, stammering or speech articulation disorder.
Discrimination is understood as prejudiced views and behaviour towards any child because of her/his caste/gender, occupation or region and non-payment of fees or for being a student admitted under the25% reservation to disadvantaged groups or weaker sections of society under the RTE, 2009. It can be latent; manifest; open or subtle. It includes but is not restricted to the following:
- Bringing social attitudes and prejudices of the community into the school by using belittling remarks against a specific social group or gender or ability/disability;
- Assigning different duties and seating in schools based on caste, community or gender prejudices for example, cleaning of toilets assigned by caste; task of making tea assigned by gender); admission through 25% reserved seats under the RTE; or non-payment of any prescribed fees;
- Commenting on academic ability based on caste or community prejudices and
- Denying a facility like library books or uniforms or sports facilities to a child or group of children based on caste, community, religion or gender.
Behaviour of staff and employees will be considered inappropriate/offensive if it involves:
- Hitting or otherwise physically assaulting a child.
- Use of language that will mentally or emotionally abuse the child.
- Act in any way that intends to embarrass shame, humiliate or degrade a child.
- Showing discrimination of race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality,
- Political persuasion or any other status.
- Developing a sexual relation with a child.
- Kissing, hugging, fondling, rubbing or touching a child in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way.
- Initiating physical contact unless initiated by the child (e.g. holding hands).
- Suggesting inappropriate behaviour or relations of any kind.
- Allowing children to engage in sexually provocative games with each other.
- Standing aside when they see inappropriate actions inflicted by children on other children because it is frequent and commonplace.
As teachers if one is concerned that one of the child has any signs of abuse it is vital toreport to the Principal who will keep a written record of any factual statement of concern regarding a child.
Child Protection Is Also About Your Own Protection So Please Remember That You Are To Only Report The Incident And Not Take Any Action After Disclosures.
Bullying is behaviour by an individual, repeated over time that intentionally hurts another individual or group. It can be in the physical, verbal, emotional or cyber domain. It is any act or gesture (written, verbal, graphic, or physical) that is reasonably perceived as being dehumanizing, intimidating, hostile, humiliating and threatening and likely to evoke fear of physical harm or emotional distress.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in this non-exhaustive definition
- Deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
- Identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying,
- Bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
- Hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum
- Where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying
Bullying undermines and dilutes the quality of education. Research shows that bullying can have short and long-term effects on the physical and mental well-being of pupils, on engagement with school, on self-confidence and on the ability to pursue ambitions and interests. Therefore, the policy aims to create an environment where students can grow and flourish without fear.
An anti-bullying policy should always endeavor to complement a school’s policy on behavior and discipline. There is also a need to regularly reinforce and review the policy so that newcomers to the school understand the school’s stance on bullying and so that existing pupils and parents are reminded that bullying, in whatever form, will never be tolerated.
- The Head of the Institution will be responsible to determine whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy.
- The Policy prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying or harassment or cooperates in the investigation.
- The policy prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of bullying or harassment.
- School officials will disseminate the policy annually to all school staff, students, and parents, along with a statement explaining that it applies to all applicable acts of harassment if bullying occurs on school property, at school-sponsored functions, or on a school bus.
- Involvement of parents through regular meetings with HM/Class teacher/Counselor. The school recognizes the need to work in partnership with and keep parents informed on procedures to improve relationships on a school-wide basis.
"As long as you have discipline, you can be a success. Discipline is what makes you do everything you need to do."
Discipline provides people with rules to live their lives efficiently and effectively. Discipline in school is fundamental and critical for ensuring successful learning, facilitating holistic development, and overall wellbeing of the learners.
Clearly defined and effective discipline policies help to “strengthen students’ behavioural skills by addressing the causes of their misbehaviours”, and thereby create a culture of mutual respect, as well as preserve dignity of all stakeholders.
Discipline helps to nurture an ambience of happiness, preserve the integrity of the learning environment, and ensure inclusive and conducive learning spaces, which foster progress towards long-term and behavioural goals for all learners. Consequently, students are able to realize their individual aspirations and be confident, responsible, and compassionate citizens of the future.
The discipline policy intends to achieve the following objectives:
- To formulate clear school rules and regulations
- To maintain uniformity, consistency, and fairness in addressing disciplinary issues.
- Aim at zero occurrence of indiscipline in the school
- To create a safe, supportive, and conducive learning environment.
- Reiterate the importance of bringing the parents and other stakeholders on board for conducive school environment.
Uniform & Attire:
- All the students should be in school uniform in the school campus during the school hours.
- Uniform must be neat and clean.
- Maintain clean short nails. Long nails, nail enamel and nail art are prohibited.
- Hair should be neatly cut and of suitable length for boys. Girls with long hair must keep them neatly tied. Accessories for hair ought to be simple, of blue/black colour.
- Use of makeup, hair gel, hair colour, fancy accessories for hair, and other kinds of accessories, and tattoos are strictly prohibited.
Do’s for students:
- Students must attend school regularly. Entry will not be allowed after 07:35 a.m.
- Attendance will be marked latest by 07:40 a.m. Any student not in class or without prior information will be marked ‘Absent’ for the day.
- Students are required to keep the school surroundings neat and clean.
- Teachers, staff, and elders must be respected at all times.
- All queries must be done courteously and politely. Students must not behave in a stubborn and arrogant manner with the staff and the elders.
- All students must treat one another in a dignified and respectful manner.
- Unruly behavior or use of force causing harm or injury to others will be dealt with seriously.
Offences and Sanctions:
In case a student commits any offence or is found guilty of aiding any offence disciplinary action will be taken, firstly by the class teacher, in consultation with the class co-ordination, if required, Depending on the nature / extent / intensity of the offence, the matter would be referred to the school discipline committees and guidance of Vice Principal and HMs / Principal will be sought.
Nature of misconduct and action to be taken:
|1||Late coming; irregularly / short of attendance||Reminder to the student, followed by sending the student back home with the parent, and marking him/her Absent for the day.|
|2||Violation of school dress code, Health and hygiene (hair, nail, dress and general cleanliness)||Reminder to the student, followed by sending the student back home with the parent and marking him/her Absent for the day.|
|3||Electronic gadgets and their misuse||Warning, seize and return to the parents only. In case of misuse, the action will be in accordance with the nature of offence.|
|4||Foul/Indecent language, Defamation/Insult||Reminder and undertaking from students and parents|
|5||Mischief (unintended harm)||Guidance and counseling|
|6||Petty theft||Warning and return of the items along with written statement and compensation of the stolen item.|
|7||Unruly/Disrespectful behavior, Disobedience
|Warning and guidance, Undertaking letter from the parents|
|8||Harassment||Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents|
|9||Substance abuse and/or possession of banned substances||Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents|
|10||Inappropriate relationship with opposite gender||Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents|
|11||Discrimination (economic status, caste/creed, religion, region, etc.)||Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents|
|12||Bullying||Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents|
|13||Manhandling by student or parent||Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents|
|14||Fighting (with or without weapon) and/or Gang fight/fight with weapon||As per the nature of offence - Warning, written statement and counseling, Undertaking letter from parents, Suspension or Expulsion.
|15||Damage to school property||Undertaking letter from parents and appropriate compensation for the damage
(Any other offence disturbing the working of the school, and not mentioned above, will also be dealt with in a similar and appropriate manner.)
Any serious violations as mentioned above or for second time occurrence of the above stated offences will lead to suspension for a period of 03 months from school.
Third time offence will result in expulsion from school.
- This discipline policy will be applicable to a student committing offence/s, whether within or outside the school premises, so long as s/he is a student of the school.
- The offences of criminal nature (such as rape, suicidal, murder and accidents etc.) are not covered by this policy. Offences of this nature will be dealt with as per the law.
- The discipline committee for each department comprises the following:
- Vice Principal/Headmistress/Chief Coordinator
- Members of School Discipline Committee (of the respective department)
- Class Coordinator
- Class Teacher