Wynstones anti-bullying policy

After many months of being “under construction” one of our local Independent Steiner schools, Wynstones, has a bright, shiny new website, only recently up and running, so I decided to have a look at their anti -bullying policy.

The document begins reasonably enough by making promises to prevent instances of bullying and provide a safe environment for children, but it makes very strange reading. Here are some excerpts;

 “Tolerance breeds a bullying culture!”

What????

[here is the document, now removed 10/12/14]

wynstones ant bullying policy

 “We are a responsible and accountable for our own actions.”

Well, I suppose there is an error here, but presumably the bullies are responsible, not the victims – I hope so.

“What action should be taken when a victim of bullying &/or Harassment comes to you?

  •  When an individual comes to a member of the working community, do not:
  •  Keep promises that cannot be kept.
  •  Reassure the victim that they have done the right thing in seeking support.
  •  Wait for the victim to calm themselves before trying to find out what has happened.
  •  Listen carefully and establish the facts whilst taking notes.
  •  Write a formal record regarding all facts and pass to the Pastoral Care Mandate holder.”

wynstones ant bullying 2

[image added 10/12/14]

I assume they mean DO rather than “do not” – but then what about the second bullet point?

And an example of complete nonsense;

“Harassment will also occur where a child is treated less favourably because he or she has rejected or refused to submit to sexual harassment or gender reassignment harassment.

wynstones anti bullying 3

[image added 10/12/14]

There are other errors ( I hope and assume they are errors).The whole document has the appearance of having been carelessly put together by someone who does not care one bit about the victims of bullying, but has been given the job in order to tick a box.

In view of the fact that bullying and the way it is not dealt with by teachers who believe in the “karma” part of anthroposophy (where it is wrong to interfere with children’s “incarnation”) is an issue that will not go away for Steiner schools, I am surprised that more effort has not been put into ensuring this document is well written.

The report is due to be reviewed in 2016. Let’s hope someone at Wynstones takes a look at it before then. There must be someone there who cares enough to read through it, surely?

 

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14 comments

  1. Helen

    To; Wynstones School council; The trustees
    Council of Trustees
    Dick Baker (Chair) DBaker@wynstones.com Ted Yates (Vice Chair) Peter Cooke,
    Martin Hardiman Ned Skelton, Graham Kennish, Chris Mattos, Tasha Sidford, Guy Pinnington

    School Management Group
    Marianna Law-Lindberg , Joan Davies, Francis, Gladstone, Andrew Fayter

    Dear Wynstones Steiner school
    There have been reported instances all over the world of teachers at Steiner schools choosing not to notice bullying in their schools. The problem, as you will know, is that some teachers believe in Rudolf Steiner’s version of reincarnation – they learn it in their anthroposophical Steiner training courses – and as part of this belief they decide not to interfere with the incarnation of the “etheric and physical and astral bodies” of the children in their care. Indeed the whole purpose of Steiner education is to put into practice Steiner’s occult ideas about child development which are considerably at odds with mainstream child development theory.
    http://www.openwaldorf.com/academics.html
    I had a look at your new bullying policy to make sure everything is clear about how Wynstones deals with the issue of bullying but unfortunately the document is littered with errors and contradictory phrases that make understanding your policy very difficult.
    Please could you clarify why you state that “Tolerance breeds a bullying culture”?
    Your belief system, anthroposophy holds that humans evolve spiritually through the races, and I suppose Steiner Waldorf education “tolerates” what they regard as inferior races. Is this one of the ways a “bullying culture” may develop?
    I wonder if the person who wrote this document is happy with it, and whether it was approved by the school trustees and council?
    I would appreciate a response to these questions.
    Many thanks
    Helen

  2. David Jasper

    Hi all,
    can you point out to me where this is stated?
    >“Tolerance breeds a bullying culture!”We are a responsible and accountable for our own actionsKeep promises that cannot be kept. gender reassignment harassment.>

    Dave.

  3. Steve

    An anti-bullying policy is, like any policy, just a piece of paper. It doesn’t mean anything until it has to be acted upon, i.e., when a problem occurs.

    The Titirangi school had an anti-bullying policy (a pretty crap one, but one nonetheless), but even that wasn’t used when a problem occurred. To make matters worse, the following quote was taken from the school’s newsletter: “children who are regularly victimised by bullies may also be engaging in additive behaviour” and “denied his or her usual behaviour [being a bully], a child may simply become compulsive about something else, like video games”

    If they can so causally write this in a newsletter, what does the say about their views on bullying and their anti-bullying policy?

    You can read more about how they treat(ed) targets of bullying at that school by visiting our site, where you’ll also find the above quote in full in the “Documents” section: http://www.titirangisteinermessenger.com

  4. Tom

    Hi Helen,
    After reading several of your posts (this being the latest), I have concluded that something must be done. As a current student at Wynstones, and keenly interested in politics and debating, I recently wrote a critical analysis on one of your posts (Green Party in Stroud) citing the current anti-bullying policy as a reference material. In this document I compared the relevant sections with the Equality Act 2010, and showed my findings that the current Policy meets, if not far surpasses the requirements set out by the Equality Act. I would be interested to talk more on your political views and their affects with the Steiner community, If you should wish this.
    Regards.

    • Helen

      Hi Tom
      I am not entirely sure what you mean about “something must be done”. Do you mean something must be done about Steiner education? If so I agree.
      By all means we can discuss things, although my personal political views do not seem to be relevant to the Steiner community. could you elaborate?
      I would be interested to see your critical analysis.
      I am away at the moment without much internet access, so I may not get back to you very quickly.

      • Tom

        something had to be done about the misguided views of your followers. I would be interested to discuss, although I am perplexed as to how your political views are disconnected, surely your views on Steiner education would guide your choice of political party and therefore MP? As for the Critical Analysis, in time, as it is for the moment a piece of “exam coursework”.
        Understandable in rural areas!

        • Jim

          Tom – I’m sure Helen will be surprised to find she has followers, rather than just people who share some views with her.
          I think you will find that critics of Steiner come from all political backgrounds, just like its supporters. I’m definitely from the left of the spectrum but I don’t think that particularly influences my objections to anthroposophy and Steiner education. As it happens the local Labour candidate opposes the proposed free school but I would support him anyway to remove the Tory incumbent.

          I’m expressing my own view and not speaking on behalf of Helen or anyone else.

  5. we escaped!

    We are not misguided and we are not followers. We have had a truly awful experience of Steiner education. Helen has provided us with a platform to have our voices heard. We do not feel that this has anything to do with politics, just truth as to the real facts of steiner education.

  6. tamarandave

    LOL, This is so typical. Tom states: ” something had to be done about the misguided views of your followers…”
    Perhaps ‘misguided’ parents are often told how ‘misguided’ they are for being concerned about the bullying their children are enduring. According to the anthroposphy, since it is karma for a child to be bullied, and by allowing that karma to play out, bullying is seen as a positive or at least necessary thing. Therefore by trying to stop their child being bullied and hence to go against the tenets of anthropophy, parents, are indeed ‘misguided’. Anyone who is half awake can surely see that Steiner schools are too much of a risk. Why put you kid into the hands of such a perverse and intellectually flawed belief system?

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