“The healthy social life is found when, in the mirror of each human soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the community, the strength of each is active.”
— The Social Motto by Rudolf Steiner
Our school is committed to providing a learning environment that fosters healthy social interactions and positive conflict resolution skills amongst our students, teachers, staff, parents, and families.
In the situation of bullying (see below for the definition), upon realizing the bullying behavior and asserting that it needs to stop, if the activity does not stop, we ask our students to:
Report to their Class Teacher immediately.
Report to the Playground Supervisor immediately if it happens on the playground.
If parents note a situation in which their child at school is either on the receiving end of bullying behavior or displaying bullying behavior, we ask that parents: Notify the Class Teacher immediately.
Defining Bullying Behavior
Bullying is behavior that is persistent, prolonged, in some cases deliberate, and involves one or more of the following actions:
- Exclusion, intentionally leaving someone out, ignoring someone
- Physical abuse: e.g., hitting, kicking, pushing, biting, spitting, pinching, throwing objects at a person
- Verbal abuse: e.g., name calling, put downs, insults, derogatory language, threats
- Disrespecting property or stealing
- Ganging up
- Teasing (see below)
- Malicious or hurtful rumors, lying, gossiping
- Active intolerance of differences
- Incitement or getting someone else to do any of the actions named above
All forms of teasing become bullying behavior when pushed too far. Teasing is not okay:
- When someone asks for it to stop and it doesn’t
- When the person being teased reacts badly when they are teased
- When it is meant to hurt, or put down another, or is mean spirited
- When it becomes a habit or it happens a lot
- When no one will help because they think they will get teased instead
- When the person being teased or someone else does not think it is funny
- When people go along with the teasing even when they do not feel good about it
Signs that your child might be the target of bullying behavior:
- Does not want to come to school
- Takes an unusual route around the playground or an unusual route home
- Does something very out of character for him/her
- Has frequent physical ailments such as stomach aches or head aches
Signs that your child might be displaying bullying behavior:
- Has disrespectful behavior at home
- Has disrespectful behavior towards siblings
- Is overly interested in aggressive games
- Lacks the ability to acknowledge another’s point of view
Creating an open, honest, responsible “Telling” Culture Bullying behavior is not always easy to detect – that is why we work together. Those involved need to feel secure to tell the truth. We work to distinguish truth-telling and we encourage our students to inform their teacher and/or playground supervisor so they can receive the help they need to resolve a problematic situation.
Code of Compassion
Conflicts are a part of life. They can provide opportunities to learn about ourselves and each other. They can provide opportunities to develop social skills. Managing conflict in a healthy way can build trust and safety within our school. The Code of Compassion has been developed together by students with their teachers. It was most recently renewed in the fall of 2009.
Our Code of Compassion is to:
- Help myself and others through caring, honest and courageous action.
- Embrace each other’s uniqueness; accept others for who they are.
- Acknowledge my part; be accountable for my thoughts, words and deeds.
- Respect myself and others through considerate, thoughtful behavior.
- Trust and expect that problems and issues can and will be worked out.
The Role of the Middle School Student Council and Middle School Students
The Middle School Student Council reviews and renews the Code of Compassion together with their teachers on a periodic basis. In a Middle School forum setting, Student Council communicates and discusses this Code to realize how such ethics can be practically lived in our school community. Further to this, it offers a reminder to Middle School students of their responsibility as role models for younger children through their own actions, interactions, language and behavior. Our “buddy system” (in which Middle School students are linked class-by-class with Elementary students to support and engage in activities together) is one venue that develops this exchange.
The Role of the Faculty, the Staff, and the Parent Body
Children learn through imitation. We are beholden to be conscious of how our actions, interactions, words and deeds are interpreted and modeled by the children in our care. We are beholden to reflect on the intentions behind such actions as well. The practice of consideration, graciousness, thoughtfulness, truthfulness, and generosity of spirit are paramount responsibilities for an adult role-model community. Likewise, our children need to see our striving when dealing with conflict. The greatest success for a socially-inclusive school community begins with the adults, who themselves practice the very skills they promote for and expect from their children.