POCSO ACT- Policy of the School
The present members of the complaints committee will deal with the complaints of sexual harassment in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the supreme court of India relating to sexual harassment of students. Class Teachers and all subject teachers will keep the members of Core Committee regularly updated about any cases of abuse that they may have come across. The in charges along with members will go through the complaint along with inputs from all members of the school- i.e. the prime witnesses, the child who has been abused, the abuser, the class teacher and / or subject teachers, the classmates and even parents (if required). First and foremost the committee and the members will ascertain whether at all there has been any kind of abuse in a confidential manner and then they will take action based on their findings.
Action may include one or more of the following for the abuser:
- Matter will be brought to the notice of the school counselor, who will adequately counsel both the student abused and the abuser for any kind of trauma, any one may have undergone.
- Warning letter will be issued to the abuser and parents of the abuser will be called immediately and incidence will be shared with them. They in turn will have to give an undertaking on the behalf of the ward that such act will not be repeated in future else school (if deemed fit) can suspend the pupil for a certain period of time or in extreme case can rusticate the pupil.
The child who has been a victim of abuse will be counseled and teachers will ensure that he/she feels safe in the school environment.
Uttar Pradesh Board Guidelines
The Uttar Pradesh Board has directed all schools affiliated under it to strictly comply with the POCSO Act by taking special measures, to prevent any case of sexual exploitation. In order to ensure strict compliance of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, board has taken several initiatives and actions for creating awareness about sexual exploitation among the school children. The challenges of gender inequality, eve-teasing and sexual abuse in school environment call for increased awareness and creating synergy among parents, teachers and the school.
Our school has also taken few initiatives in this regard such as in-house teacher induction sessions for gender sensitization, promotion of harmonious school and classroom environment and inclusiveness, guidance and counseling facilities, self- defense training to girls, formation of complaint committees and provision of complaints boxes.
Procedure for Approaching Committee
The Committee deals with issues relating to sexual harassment at Yash Memorial School, Noida. It is applicable to all students, staff and faculty. A complaint of discrimination or sexual harassment may be lodged by the victim or a third party. A written complaint may be addressed to the members of the Committee.
Here it should be noted that according to the Supreme Court guideline Sexual harassment can be defined as “unwelcome” sexually determined behaviour (whether directly or by implication) as:
- Physical contact and advances
- Showing pornography
- Other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
The following is also sexual harassment and is covered by the committee:
- Unsavory remarks
- Jokes causing or likely to cause awkwardness or embarrassment
- Innuendos and taunts
- Gender based insults or sexist remarks
- Touching or brushing against any part of the body and the like
- Displaying pornographic or other offensive or derogatory pictures, cartoons, pamphlets or sayings
- Forcible physical touch or molestation and
- Physical confinement against one’s will and any other act likely to violate one’s privacy.
Policy Implementation and Review
The policy will be implemented and reviewed by the committee regularly. The school reserves the right to amend/ modify the entire policy or any part of it at any time.
Gender Sensitization workshop is being conducted at regular intervals where Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) act is discussed. The teachers are trained to attend to adolescence related issues. They are primarily made aware to notice the behavior pattern of children. This particularly includes close monitoring of academic performance and psychological behavior, categorically in cases of sudden decline in performance, lack of interest, depression, aloofness etc. The teachers are educated on how to counsel a child if they notice such behavior pattern. They are also well trained to talk to parents on the subject of child sexual abuse from time to time.
In order to provide a safe, protective and conducive environment to our children for their overall development, we keep conducting workshops wherein children are taught to differentiate between good touch and bad touch. They are encouraged not to hide things and to report inappropriate behavior to their teacher.
Self Defense Training
Special activities like self- defense classes are regularly held in school which not only give training but also boost students’ confidence.
The entire School premises and every Class room are under CCTV surveillance which is personally monitored by Head of the Institution.
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