ANTI-BULLYING AND DISCIPLINE POLICY
At Montessori School of Maui we believe that every child has the right to an education and every child has the right to be safe. We do not tolerate bullying, we educate our staff and students about bullying, we closely monitor the behavior of our staff and students to ensure that bullying is not allowed to occur and we take swift action to deal with any bullying that does occur.
Definition of Bullying
MOMI defines bullying as a series of repeated intentionally cruel incidents, involving the same children, in the same bully and victim roles. This, however, does not mean that in order for bullying to occur there must be repeat offenses. Bullying can consist of a single interaction. Bullying behavior may also be defined as a criminal act if the bully is twelve years of age or older. Bullying is a willful, conscious desire to hurt, frighten or threaten. Bullying is ongoing in nature.
It can be physical and/or verbal and includes racial, religious, and sexual harassment, offensive gestures, inappropriate touching, intimidation, extortion and social exclusion. It is behavior that is designed to hurt, injure, embarrass, upset or discomfort the other person.
Discipline at the Montessori School of Maui (MOMI) is based on a positive attitude toward children. To this end, the staff models grace, courtesy, respect and problem-solving skills. Students are taught that MOMI is a peaceful school based upon mutual respect and that there is zero tolerance for violence or bullying. Appropriate use of non-violent communication, and frustration tolerance skills are expected; as opposed to crying, hitting, name-calling and similar behaviors.
Montessori School of Maui requires all employees, and encourages parents to report any known incidents of bullying to their child’s teacher and/or the Head of School. When an incident is observed, employees are required to complete an Incident Report and to send copies to the Head of School and the Business Manager. This policy is located in the MOMI Staff Handbook Section II. Standard Workplace Policies, which is available online and in the school office.
In line with Non-violent communication, the school will:
- Encourage teachers to embody programs against bullying in their classroom curriculum in order to develop educative and positive programs to minimize bullying.
- Record incidents of bullying in a consistent way, using the MOMI Incident Report form, that allows for monitoring of such behavior.
- Discuss appropriate standards of behavior and school rules with all students.
- Involve the other agencies as necessary.
The school will support students who are being bullied by:
- Improving the self-esteem of victims through activities that build self-confidence, self-awareness, and the ability to stand up for ones self. The school employs counseling when appropriate, and/or social skills programs.
- Developing programs to assist bullies to work cooperatively with others rather than in a confrontational way.
- Taking bullying seriously and thoroughly investigating.
In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, our policy is to help children to arrive at inner discipline through concentrated work. In all areas the child is assisted in developing the skills necessary to control his/her own actions to develop self- discipline. Natural and/or logical consequences are used as a means of helping the child to develop inner limits.
- If a child is disruptive or endangers others, staff immediately intervene in as positive a manner as possible.
- If a child has trouble settling into the class on any day, the child is redirected to an activity by the teacher.
- If the child is still unable to settle down, the teacher will intervene and may have the child remain in close proximity until the child is able to calm down.
- When an incident occurs, the teacher or staff person involved will submit a summary of the incident on an Incident Report form.
- If behavior becomes extreme, the teacher will schedule a meeting with the parents and, depending on the circumstances, with the Head of School while the incident is still fresh in the child’s mind. Staff, parents, and child will work together to modify behavior.
- If a pattern of disruptive behavior develops:
- teachers will record behavioral observations and visually observe the child at all times until the behavior changes.
- the teacher will inform the student’s parents
- appropriate staff will be notified
- the student, teacher, parents, and head of school will work together to modify behavior and when appropriate additional professional help will be required
- If a child persists in the unprovoked, willful hurting of others, after being reasoned with and experiencing consequences, there will be an immediate one day suspension from school.
- Continued negative behavior will result in the school requiring a behavioral evaluation by a professional, and the possible removal of the student from the school
MOMI defines unacceptable conduct as any behavior that creates unsafe conditions including, but not limited to, acts of bullying, physical violence, harassment, and illegal acts.
Procedures to be followed when a pattern of unacceptable conduct is identified:
- Verbal notification to each parent involved.
- Consultation with parent and teacher and when appropriate the Head of School.
- Written plan for subsequent action and follow up review.
- If required, notification will be given to the relevant authorities
Montessori School of Maui encourages students to show respect for differences including but not limited to race, gender, and religion while fostering a school environment free from all forms of bullying & intimidation whether physical, social, emotional or verbal.
The school’s focus, based on Montessori pedagogy, is on preventative measures for such behaviors, by teaching children how to:
- be caring and courteous
- cooperate with others
- deal with angry feelings
- stand up for themselves without being aggressive
- respect and celebrate the unique qualities of every person