Child Protection Policy, Appendices
Anyone who observes or learns of a behavior warranting reporting is required to submit a Mandated Reporting Form. CAJ will endeavor to protect the confidentiality of reporters and defend any reporters from reprisals. See also mandated reporters.
Behavior and Response Flow Chart
As a community of grace and truth, we expect students to treat each other with kindness and respect. Behaviors inconsistent with this standard include, but are not limited to those listed in the flow chart.
The Child Safety Team includes the head of school, the divisional principal, the Child Safety Coordinator.
- Suggestions for responding to students
- Show acceptance of what the child says, however unlikely it may sound
- Stay calm and and look at the child directly while being sensitive to cultural differences
- Be honest and tell the child you will need to let someone else know (do not promise confidentiality)
- Reassure the child that even if they have broken a rule, they are not to blame for the abuse
- Be aware that the child may have been bribed or threatened not to tell
- Never push for information, instead let the child know that you are always ready to listen if they want to tell you more
- Helpful things to say
- “Thank you for telling me…”
- “I believe you…”
- “It’s not your fault…”
- “You did the right thing to tell me…”
- “I will help you…”
- Things not to say
- “Why haven’t you told anyone before?”
- “I can’t believe this/Are you sure this is true?”
- “I am shocked.”
- Action steps following a disclosure
- Let the child know what you are going to do next
- Offer to accompany the child to see a school counselor
- Make notes during the meeting or soon after, writing down what was said as closely as possible
- Report the disclosure to the Child Safety Team as soon as possible, using a Mandated Reporting Form
- Consider your feelings and seek support if needed, while maintaining confidentiality for the child’s sake
Behaviors requiring special definition include:
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
Types of Bullying
- Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
- Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
- Making mean or rude hand gestures
- Cyber Bullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night. Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Cyber bullying includes:
- Mean text messages or emails
- Rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites
- Embarrassing pictures, videos, websites
- Fake profiles
- Information is sourced from Stopbullying.gov
Acts of harassment usually center around unwanted, offensive and intrusive behavior usually with a sexual, racial or physical component.
Definitions of harassment and bullying vary and there is much overlap. The essential differences between harassment and bullying are as follows:
|Has a strong physical component, eg contact and touch in all its forms, intrusion into personal space and possessions, damage to possessions including a person's work, etc.||Can be psychological or physical|
|Tends to be motivated by an outward personal characteristic of the target, such as gender, race, disability etc.||Tends to be motivated by a hidden personal characteristic of the target, such as competence, popularity or integrity.|
|A course of conduct constituting harassment can consist of just two incidents.||Bullying tends to be an accumulation of many small incidents, each of which, when taken in isolation and out of context, seems trivial.|
|The person who is being harassed knows almost straight away they are being harassed.||The person being bullied may not realise it for weeks or months, until there's a moment of enlightenment.|
|Everyone can recognise harassment.||Few people recognise bullying.|
|Harassment may involve racist, sexist or other discriminatory vocabulary and actions directed at the target.||Bullying tends to consist of unwarranted criticisms and false allegations. Inappropriate language may be used when there are no witnesses.|
|Harassment can be for peer approval, bravado, macho image etc.||Tends to be secret behind closed doors with no witnesses.|
|Social media can be used for harassment||Social media can be used for bullying|
|The harasser may be content for their target to know they are being harassed.||The bully does not want their target to know they are being bullied.|
|Harassment is done for the sake of dominating the target.||Bullying is done for the sake of making the bully look more competent than the target.|
|It is immediately obvious when there has been an act of harassment.||Bullying can be very subtle, so it will not be immediately obvious that there has been an act of bullying.|
Both bullying and harassment involve treating others with disrespect and will not be tolerated at CAJ. *Information is sourced from: Bullyingonline.org
(Also defined under “Discipline” section in the secondary principles of the CAJ Code of Conduct.)
Actions that may be considered abuse include, but are not limited to:
- Physical Abuse: hitting, spanking, shaking, slapping, any behavior that assaults a child; pushing or restraining a child outside the goals of protecting them or others from danger or providing medical care.
- Verbal Abuse: degrading, ridiculing, yelling at a child or using other forms of hostile language.
- Sexual Abuse: inappropriate touching, exposing oneself, sexually inappropriate conversations.
- Mental Abuse: shaming, humiliation, cruelty.
- Neglect: inappropriate isolation or withholding food, water or shelter.
Self-harm or Suicidal Ideation
- Self-harm is the deliberate infliction of damage to one’s own body and includes cutting, burning, and other forms of injury.
- Suicidal ideation involves thoughts about how to kill oneself, which can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration and does not include the final act of killing oneself.
- Any staff member who becomes aware of a student who has engaged in self-harming behaviors or who has expressed suicidal ideation is considered to be a mandated reporter and should report to an administrator and submit a mandated report as soon as possible.
- This responsibility takes precedence over any commitment to confidentiality.
- When a student has expressed suicidal ideation at school, the student's parent will be called to discuss arrangements for the student to return home safely.
- In cases of self-harm or suicidal ideation, the student will most likely be referred to a counselor for further evaluation and be allowed to return to school after the initial visit or when advisable upon the recommendations of the counselor. If this is not recommended, it must be with the agreement of the Child Safety Team.
- If the Child Safety Team determines that a student is not safe to be in school, the parent may be required to keep the student home until he or she is determined to be able to return to school
- More information on symptoms about suicidal thoughts can be found at: Medical News Today