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!”
[here is the document, now removed 10/12/14]
“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.”
[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.
[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?