The Right of children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE, 2009), clearly states that no child shall be subjected 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 the bench, standing against the wall in a chair-like position, standing with a schoolbag on the 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/AIDS and 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/ Humiliate’ 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 the 25% 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 separate seating in schools based on caste, community or gender prejudices for example, cleaning of toilets assigned by caste; task of making tea;
- 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.
The concept of punishment has always nursed a sense of fear and learning does not occur in a fear prone environment. It is therefore imperative that schools should adopt such methods by which the learner develops a sense of self-confidence and self-dependence on certain occasions, when the behaviour and attitude of the students is acceptable, it is important to find out the reasons for such errant behaviour and counsel them appropriately rather than to punish them straight away.
Corporal punishment signals to the child that a way to settle interpersonal conflicts is to use physical force and inflict pain. Such children may in turn resort to such behavior themselves. They may also fail to develop trusting, secure relationships with adults and fail to evolve the necessary skills to settle disputes or wield authority in less violent ways. Supervising adults who will-fully humiliate children and punish by force and pain are often causing more harm than they prevent.
Research on corporal punishment has shown that it is indeed harmful. Many other methods of discipline are effective in promoting self-control, eliminating undesirable behaviors and promoting desired behaviors in children. The school recommends non-violent methods of addressing inappropriate behavior, such as behavior management and school-wide positive behavior supports.
The School believes that there is no scope for such punishments in the learning environment and the teachers should adopt strategies by which the learner realizes one’s mistake, if any, rather than face a corporal punishment by the institution. Love reinforces confidence and once the learner believes that the school atmosphere is permeating with love from the teachers, they will desist from indulging any acts that would negate the environment that has been built.
THE SCHOOL HAS A ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY ON CORPORAL PUNISHMENT.
Child abuse and neglect have devastating effects on children that can last a lifetime. Abuse and neglect can increase the possibility of a child having a developmental delay and long-term emotional disabilities. These children also have an increased risk of involvement in drugs, sexually risky behavior and behavioral disabilities. Child abuse may be physical, sexual or emotional.
SIGNS OF CHILD ABUSE
Children who are experiencing abuse or neglect may show observable signs.
They may be dropped off at school without appropriate clothing for the season, left without supervision too early at school or not picked up well after hours. They may have behavior problems such as acting out or getting multiple discipline referrals. They may also show more withdrawn and emotional behaviors such as crying easily, keeping to themselves or difficulty relating to peers and adults. They are also at risk for poor school performance.
Parents or other caregivers who abuse their children are often under a great deal of stress and may give vent to their stress on the children. They may feel as if there is no problem with their behavior toward the child. In such households, discipline tends to be severe, and physical punishment is the norm. Parents may be emotionally abusive, using harsh language, putdowns and mocking behavior toward their children.
IDENTIFYING CHILD NEGLECT
Child neglect involves denying a child what he needs for basic survival.
Child neglect is an act of omission or commission leading to the denial of child’s basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, emotional, or psychological. Physical neglect entails denial of food, clothing, appropriate medical care or supervision. It may include abandonment.
Inadequate clothing, nutrition, educational and emotional support are examples. Meeting a child’s physical needs such as adequate housing, medical care or basic supervision are often problems in neglectful households. Children who are neglected are often poorly prepared for school and may miss school a lot.
These children may steal from others in an attempt to get the things they need. They may appear unwashed and unkempt. They may be sick repeatedly for long periods of time. In some cases, children who are not adequately supervised will become involved in drugs or alcohol, and the parents may be unaware or not care.
Physical abuse occurs when an adult hurts a child causing injury. Physical injury may be caused by hitting, excessive spanking, cigarette burns (or other types of burns or scalds), shaking, kicking or other types of physical violence. Bruises, burns and cuts in unusual places are possible signs of abuse. Bruises on knees and scraped elbows, however, are usually common injuries children get while playing. When parents and children give differing explanations for the cause of an injury, abuse may be a factor.
Emotional abuse leaves scars on children that cannot always be seen. Emotional abuse negatively affects a child’s psychological and emotional development and may have long-term effects on cognitive development as well. Most emotional abuse is verbal. In these cases, parents or caregivers continually put the child down, blame him for problems that he could not possibly have caused, call him names or use similar forms of verbal abuse.
Emotional abuse may also involve non-physical punishment designed to humiliate, shame or terrify the child.
Sexual abuse occurs when an adult has inappropriate sexual involvement with a child. It may involve sexual talking or texting or any physical contact such as intercourse, sodomy or touching. As with other forms of abuse, sexual abuse has devastating long-term effects on a child’s psychological and physiological development.
HOW TO PREVENT CHILD ABUSE?
Parents are responsible for doing all they can to keep their children from being in situations that make them vulnerable.
- Talk to your child about staying safe. Let the child listen to you & engage.
- Make safety rules and plans for every situation, review the safety rules.
- Help your child build self-esteem and confidence.
- Teach your child effective communication strategies.
- A child should know that a decision is actually a choice, and that each choice has consequences.
- Respect your child’s decisions. Let him bear the consequences of his decisions and
- Tell your child it is alright to be scared.
- Tell your child that any abuse that happens is not their fault.
- Be a good listener, be patient, find time for your child.
- Be a good role model for your child
- Be alert for signs of trouble – Listen to your child talk about adults they spend time with.
- If your child seems afraid or described an unusually close relationship, learn more.
Under the POCSO Act 2012 School staff members are required by law to report incidents of suspected abuse of children. Reporting abuse is a critical first step in protecting the child and getting the family the help it needs to stop the cycle of abuse and neglect.
Substance abuse / illegal drugs means any unlawful, intoxicating or stupefying substances, these include tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, and other psychoactive compound.
Substance abuse is prohibited by law and severe action will be taken against perpetrators.
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The aim of this policy is to encourage all students to abstain from using any drugs (other than those which are medically prescribed), including alcohol and tobacco.
The school does not tolerate:
- The use or possession of any illegal or prohibited substance;
- The possession of drug-related equipment such as cigarette papers, pipes, matches, lighters, bottle ends, foils or other;
- Performance enhancing drugs;
- The inappropriate use of solvents, inhalants, aerosols and similar agents;
- The consumption of alcohol and the smoking of tobacco.
If any student is involved in dealing or selling any of the above mentioned substances, disciplinary action will be taken.
The school will respond to substance abuse with serious punishments, with a humanitarian view. Our approach will be one of prevention education. The school undertakes to educate (through guidance lessons, life skills) to inform (using outside speakers, exhibitions) and to guide and support (counseling, peer-counseling).
Anybody found in possession of or using any of these substances either on school property, or when in school uniform, or when under the supervision of the school, or attending school-related functions including sports outings, tours and social events, will be subject to the following procedure:
- The student will be required to have a drug test administered.
- If a student tests positive for a substance use, the student will first be interviewed by school management or the school counselor to determine the nature and extent of the student’s involvement with drugs (casual experimentation / habitual use / dependence / dealing, etc.) and determine the appropriate response.
- The student’s parents will be informed of the alleged involvement and will be required to attend a meeting at the school with the Principal, and the School Counselor.
On the basis of the meeting, the school will take the necessary action:
- Inform the parents of a pending disciplinary hearing.
- Disciplinary action against the student may follow if, in the opinion of the hearing, this is warranted by the nature of the student’s involvement with drugs. The results of such disciplinary action may include the provision of support, including counseling, to a range of punishments which may include recommendation for expulsion.
- Drug testing and searches will be done when substance abuse or the possession of illegal substances is suspected.
- Dealing in drugs or involving others in their use will normally result in a recommendation that the pupil be expelled from the school.
The school needs to be informed if any leaner needs to bring prescription drugs to school. Students are not allowed to bring more than one day’s dose to school.
ADDICTION, TREATMENT AND HELP
The school understands that addiction is a medical problem.
Students who experience problems with substance abuse or related matters, and need help, will be treated in confidence and will not be discriminated against in any way.
The drug policy is for the benefit of all parties concerned. The aim of the policy is to assist, educate and guide students, and to help those who want to be helped or who need help. The school through shall provide counseling through school counselor and motive student with the help of various tool such as audio/ video, short films, storytelling etc. School has constituted the Anti-Drug Club to assist in the rehabilitation efforts of the students.
The ANTI-DRUG CLUB of the school has been constituted to ensure a drug- free campus by imposing a total ban on the possession or consumption or use of drugs and substance abuse by students of the school, within or outside the campus.
The duties of the ANTI-DRUG CLUB include organizing awareness programmes in the school with the help of government authorized agencies/ organizations. Educating the students about the ill-effects of drugs and substance abuse encouraging peer policing among students against the use of drugs and reporting of any noticed use of drugs by the students.
The ANTI-DRUG CLUB comprises of the following members:
|1.||Mr. Pankaj Nautiyal||Principal|
|2.||Mr. Girish Chamoli||Administrative Officer|
|3.||Ms. Sonali Bhatt||Counselor|
|4.||Mrs. Mitisha Arora||Member|
|5.||Mrs. Jaspreet Kaur||Member|
Purpose and Procedure of the Anti-Drug Club:
- To conduct various types of workshops, campaign, training and awareness programmes in order to educate students about the ill- effect of drugs and substance abuse.
- To conduct various types of workshops, campaign, training and awareness programmes for teaching / non teaching, supporting staffs and parents on topics such as know your child activities, behavior change pattern etc.
- To keep an eye on suspected students activities and surprise frisking.
- If some student found of using drugs other than prescribed one, than such student shall be presented in front of the club member for enquiry and counseling. Such student identity shall keep secret. Parents/ guardian shall be called upon in school for meeting with the club members.
- If any student is undergoing some treatment and is prescribed for any type of drugs (psychotropic drug), than parents/ guardian has to inform to the school regarding the same in writing along with Doctor’s prescription and medical history.
- Members of the club shall decide the severity of the case and accordingly take the decision.
- PSYCHOMETRIC TEST and SWOT analysis of student shall be conduct to analysis the behavior and personality.
- Counselor shall prepare his/her case history concerning with the parents/ guardian and accordingly the counseling sessions program shall be prepared in order to help them to regain their confidence, involve them in other activity according to their interest.
- Expressing empathy for the student. Helping student to identify the discrepancies between their behavior and the goal, and making them understand their efficiency and confidence.
- Motivational programmes shall be arrange for such student with the help of various methods such as audio/ video, short films, storytelling etc.
- Each and every case shall be recorded and records shall be maintained with the counselor.
- Further if, any student is not able to cope up with the counseling sessions done by the school than on the recommendation of the counselor the case shall be referred to the Psychiatrist.
The Social Baluni Public School prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. Harassment, intimidation, bullying, disruptive or violent behaviors, a conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and school’s ability to educate its students in a safe and disciplined environment is absolutely forbidden. Students learn by example, therefore school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.
“Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication (a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager), whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents which are:
- Reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability, or
- By any other distinguishing characteristic; and that
- Takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or off school grounds that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other students; and that
- A reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of physically or emotionally harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm to his person or damage to his property; or
- Has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students; or
- Creates a hostile educational environment for the student by interfering with a student’s education or by severely or pervasively causing physical or emotional harm to the student.
Bullying is most commonly witnessed amongst students, though not overtly it can be:
|Emotional||Being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)|
|Physical||Pushing, kicking, biting, hitting, punching or any use of violence|
|Racial||Racial taunts, graffiti, gestures|
|Sexual||Unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments|
|Direct or indirect Verbal||Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing|
|Cyber Bullying||All areas of internet, such as email and internet chat Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. misuse. Mobile threats by text messaging and calls· Misuse of associated technology, i.e. camera and video facilities, Ipad, games consoles.|
Bullying may be related to:
- SEN or disability
- Appearance or health condition
- Home circumstances
- Sexual orientation, sexism, or sexual bullying, homophobia
Bullying can take place in the classroom, playground, toilets, on the journey to and from school, on residential trips and cyberspace. It can take place in group activities and between families in the local community.
PERPETRATORS AND VICTIMS
Bullying takes place where there is an imbalance of power of one person or persons over another.
This can be achieved by:
- The size of the individual,
- The strength of the individual
- The numbers or group size involved
- Anonymity – through the use of cyber bullying or using email, social networking sites, texts etc
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO RESPOND TO BULLYING?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Bullying has the potential to damage the mental health of a victim. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS FOR PARENTS AND STAFF
A child may indicate through his/her behaviour that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- is frightened of walking to or from school
- begs to be driven to school
- changes his/her usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- starts stammering
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- cries himself/herself to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to put in less effort with school work than previously
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions which are damaged or ” go missing”
- asks for money or starts stealing money
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes home hungry (money / lunch has been stolen)
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what’s wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- is nervous and jumpy when a cyber-message is received
- lack of eye contact
- becoming short tempered
- change in attitude to people at home
These signs and behaviours could indicate other social, emotional and/or mental health problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated thoroughly.
SCHOOL POLICY ON PROHIBITION OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING:
The ethos of our School fosters high expectations of outstanding behavior. It is expected that students will conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity and demonstrated capabilities, with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities and the care of school facilities and equipment.
- Students and staff are expected to behave in a way that creates a conducive learning environment. The best discipline is self-imposed, and it is the responsibility of staff to use instances of violations of the school’s policies and rules and regulations as opportunities for helping students learn to assume and accept responsibility for their behavior and the consequences of their behavior.
- Staff to follow the equality policy: supporting every child in the school. Staff must be careful not to highlight differences of children or an individual child, even if this is done in jest. This gives other children advocacy to use this difference to begin calling names or teasing.
- Staff must be vigilant regarding groups of friends together. Friendship groups may bring about the imbalance of power and must be led towards welcoming others to join them and not excluding others from their group.
- Staff must reinforce a general message that children do not have to be friends with everyone else, but they must be respectful of everyone else’s feelings and be kind to each other.
- It is expected that all students and staff will act in accordance with the behavioral expectations set forth in the Code of conduct for Staff & Students.
- The School expects that all students and staff will refrain from becoming involved in any bullying, harassing, intimidating or threatening behaviors.
- “Zero tolerance” has become a school and workplace necessity and each student is being taught, and each staff member is expected to demonstrate an understanding, that any of these actions (verbal or written) bring serious consequences, no matter how inconsequential the student or staff member may believe his/her intentions to be.
- When an incident of bullying has taken place, staff must record & report each incident to Principal / Vice- Principal / Admin Officer.
- Further prohibited by this policy is reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a victim, witness, one with reliable information or any other person who has reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
- The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the appropriate school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act in accordance with this policy and the school handbooks.
The objective of the Student Grievance Redressal Policy is to develop a responsive and accountable attitude among all the stakeholders in order to maintain a harmonious educational atmosphere in the institute.
A Grievance Cell has been constituted for the Redressal of the problems reported by the Students of the school with the following objectives:
» Upholding the dignity of the school by ensuring strife free atmosphere in the school through promoting cordial Student-Student relationship and Student-teacher relationship etc.
» Encouraging the Students to express their grievances / problems freely and frankly, without any fear of being victimized.
» Suggestion / complaint Box is installed in front of the Administrative Block and Academic Block in which the Students, who want to remain anonymous, put in writing their grievances and their suggestions for improving the Academics / Administration in the school.
» Advising Students of the school to respect the right and dignity of one another and show utmost restraint and patience whenever any occasion of rift arises.
» Advising All the Students to refrain from inciting Students against other Students, teachers and school administration.
» Advising all staffs to be affectionate to the Students and not behave in a vindictive manner towards any of them for any reason.
» Bullying in any form is strictly prohibited in and outside the institution. Any violation of the “Policy PROHIBITING HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING” and disciplinary rules are urgently brought to the notice of the School Principal.
Mechanism for Redressal of grievances of students and staff
The students are the main stakeholders in any institution imparting education, and it’s our endeavour to make all efforts to ensure transparency in all the activities at different stages. Taking this spirit in consideration the school has the set mechanism for students for Redressal of their grievances as under:
The Grievances may broadly include the following complaints of the aggrieved students
- Grievance related to Assessment
- Grievance related to Victimization
- Grievance related to Attendance
- Grievance related to charging of fees
- Grievance regarding conducting of Examinations
- Harassment by colleague students or the teachers etc.
It is good to air a grievance rather than to keep it bottled up. Protection of human rights is essential for all round development of an individual’s personality to realize the primary needs of the students and staff and secure civil liberties for everybody; a grievance Redressal cell has been constituted. The cell is indented to find solutions for problems like sexual harassment –any kind of physical or mental harassment, complaints regarding class room teaching-class room management, completion of syllabus, teaching methods etc, if and when they arise. The grievance Redressal cell convenes meetings periodically and takes steps to redress the grievance.
Procedure for lodging complaint
» The students may feel free to put up a grievance in writing/or in the format available in the Admin dept. and drop it in boxes.
» The Grievance Cell will act upon those cases which have been forwarded along with the necessary documents.
» The Grievance Cell will assure that the grievance has been properly solved in a stipulated time limit provided by the cell.
Responsibility for Redressal:
» The final responsibility for grievance Redressal rests with the Principal of the School.
» The school expects that grievance Redressal be time bound and result oriented. Every grievance is expected to be resolved within a reasonably period.
» The Grievance Redressal cell of the school shall monitor status and progress of Grievance Redressal and shall furnish report on Grievance Redressal position to the School Management.
» In case of any grievance the members of the cell are empowered to sort out the problems at their level through discussion with students.
» In case the members fail to find out any solution then the matter is referred to the Director for final commitment on the matter.
» Considering the nature and depth of the grievances due inquiry is made by the members of the cell and through personal discussion the matter is solved. If anybody is found to be guilty for any kind of nuisance, immediate action is being taken by the School Management.
The grievance Redressal cell shall not entertain the following issues:
- Decisions with regard to award of scholarship, fee concessions, medals etc;
- Decisions made by the school with regard to disciplinary matters and misconduct.
- Decisions of the university about admissions in any courses offered by the school.
- Decisions by competent authority on assessment and examination results.