Child Protection Policy, English

Guiding Principles[edit]

Whenever possible, all three guiding principles of visibility, accountability, and appropriate use and balance of power govern our behavior. When one principle is not possible to achieve because of circumstances outside the staff member’s control, the other two principles are of utmost importance.

The principles apply to relationships with students at any time, both on campus and off campus. Staff members are always bound by these principles.

1. Visibility

Scriptural basis
"But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." (John 3:21)
"Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God." (2 Cor 4:2)
Question: Is it possible for others to see me?
Possible examples
When meeting one to one with students, staff members should be situated in a way that visibility is possible and lighting is appropriate.
Staff members should choose appropriate areas of campus to meet with students where visibility is possible.


2. Accountability

Scriptural basis
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Heb 10:24-25)
"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." (Eph. 4:15)

Question: Do others know what I am doing?
Possible examples

Meetings with students should be during school hours (7:30 - 4:30) unless the staff member has specifically arranged for accountability. Exceptions may be made for public places when others are around.
Staff members should not meet students off campus. If staff members have outside responsibilities that make this a possibility (e.g. church or mission responsibilities), staff members should disclose the outside meetings or relationships to a supervisor.


3. Appropriate Use and Balance of Power

Scriptural basis
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15)
"...Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (Eph 6:4)
Question: Do students feel safe in my presence?
Possible examples
Staff members should take care to use appropriate language, posture, and tone of voice in order to ensure that students feel safe and comfortable in their presence.
The nature of the conversation may determine the balance of power. Subject matter that is sensitive may require a different balance, i.e. another adult or another student.
Two staff members or one staff member and an approved second adult are the minimum requirement for off-campus school related trips or off-hours events with students. At least one of the adults must be a CAJ staff member, though both should have signed the “Code of Conduct”, read all appropriate child safety materials and received any appropriate training regarding safety policies.


Secondary Principles[edit]

1. Physical Contact

Touch will be in response to the need of the child, not the need of the adult. Acceptable physical contact should be:
  • open, not secretive.
  • age-appropriate.
  • initiated by the child rather than the adult.
  • with the child’s permission.
  • respectful of a child’s resistance.

Actions that are unacceptable and may be considered abuse include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • touching buttocks, chests, genital areas or thighs except to keep young children clean or healthy.
  • any form of affection that is resisted or unwanted by the child.
  • any behavior that could be interpreted as sexual in nature, including flirtatious or seductive looks.
  • assisting the child with anything of a personal nature that children are able to do themselves, including dressing and bathing.

2. Discipline

Discipline should be used to teach and respectfully correct rather than punish. 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.
  • Psychological Abuse: shaming, humiliation, cruelty.
  • Neglect: inappropriate isolation or withholding food, water or shelter.

3. Communication

All verbal, nonverbal, and digital communication with students, including e-mail, texts, and all forms of social media, will be guided by principles of professionalism and integrity and conducted with caution and discretion.
Appropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • praise and/or positive reinforcement with a pedagogical purpose when used consistently and equally for all children.
  • e-mails using only the caj.ac.jp address.
Unacceptable behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • profanity, sexual innuendo, or risqué jokes.
  • private messaging via phone messaging, social media and/or online gaming communities, except in specific, approved situations, guided by our primary principles.
  • yelling, threatening, ridiculing, shaming, humiliating or degrading comments.

4. Relationships

All relationships should be wholesome, above reproach and conducted in a way that honors God.
Adults should avoid favoring particular children to the exclusion of others, or excluding children in a derogatory or embarrassing way in the presence of others.
The following contact/relationships with a child/student are considered unacceptable:
  • intimate contact/relationships
  • romantic contact/relationships
  • sexual contact/relationships
  • inappropriate emotional contact/relationships
  • relationships that could be perceived as exploitive

Administrators periodically and randomly inspect classrooms, offices, and other areas to verify compliance with these safeguards.

5. Exploitation

Using relationships with CAJ students or their families for personal profit or gain
  • Exploitation is an inappropriate use of power or status
  • Exploitation includes using children to make a profit
  • Exploitation includes using children for one’s own benefit

Behaviors Requiring Further Definition (Explanation)[edit]

Behaviors requiring special definition include:
1. Bullying

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:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • 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:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • 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

2. Harassment

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:

Harassment Bullying
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

3. Abuse (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.

4. 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.
  • More information on symptoms about suicidal thoughts can be found at: Medical News Today

Behavior and Response Flow Chart[edit]

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.

BehaviorResponseFlowChart.png

ResponseToChildSafetyConcerns.png

The Child Safety Team includes the head of school, the divisional principal, the Child Safety Coordinator.

Mandated Reporting

Anyone who observes or learns of a behavior warranting reporting is required to submit a Mandated Reporting Form. See mandated reporters.

  • 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?”
    • “Who/why/when/where/how?”
    • “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

(inspiration and some content from Dalat International School, Child Protection and Safety Handbook)

Confidentiality

All members involved in reporting and addressing behaviors must take care to protect the confidentiality of everyone involved.