GIS STUDENT SAFETY, PROTECTION, and PROCEDURE POLICY

(updated July 2021)

นโยบายการป้องกัน การคุ้มครอง และกระบวนการสืบสวน ของนักเรียนโรงเรียนนานาชาติเกรซ

GIS 학생 안전, 보호, 절차에 대한 정책

GIS 学生安全、保护和程序政策

INTRODUCTION

GIS believes that all students have the right to protection from abuse/harm. We are committed to protecting all students from physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse/harm, as well as neglect, and exploitation. We strive to maintain an environment in which all students, staff, and parents are treated with respect and dignity.

Grace International School (GIS) is an Associate Member of the Child Safety & Protection Network (CSPN). CSPN is a collaborative network of mission agencies, faith based NGOs, and international Christian Schools intentionally and strategically addressing the issues of child protection.

DEFINITIONS

Definitions of abuse are complex in various cultures regarding child-rearing behaviors but it includes any action or lack of action resulting in harm or serious potential for harm. Harm is any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the student’s physical or emotional wellbeing. For the purposes of this policy, “child” or “student” refers to any current or former GIS student, regardless of age. Abuse/harm may be student to student or adult to student.

Physical Abuse/Harm

Non-accidental acts may include, but are not limited to, the following: slapping, punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, burning, holding underwater, pulling hair, or holding against one’s will.

Emotional Abuse

The persistent emotional maltreatment of a student. Includes restriction of movement, patterns of belittling, intimidating, humiliating, scapegoating, threatening, scaring, screaming, blaming, discriminating, ridiculing or other non-physical forms of hostile or rejecting treatment.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse may take the form of verbal, visual, or physical. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Verbal: Inappropriate affectionate/sexual communication including innuendos, solicitation, and sexual threats.
  • Visual: indecent exposure; taking, possessing, showing, or distributing suggestive pictures or videos; peeping, leering, or staring at others when they are naked or engaged in sexual activity;
  • Physical Touching: physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or in the case of a female, breasts; kissing, holding, fondling; statutory rape, rape, oral and anal sex.
  • Grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a student, and sometimes the family, to lower the student’s inhibitions and to gain their trust for the purpose of sexual harm, sexual exploitation or trafficking. This can be done face-to-face or online.

Self-Harm

Includes deliberate starvation, binge eating, excessive exercise, cutting, and the misuse of alcohol or drugs.

Neglect

Neglect can include the failure, refusal, or inability of a parent or caregiver to provide a child with the basic elements needed for his or her proper growth and development, such as food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care and adequate supervision.

Exploitation

The abuse of power to exchange money or something of value for use of a student. This includes but is not limited to, sexual exploitation (ie selling of child pornography).

PREVENTION

Screening

All GIS staff, school aides, overnight field trip chaperones, and coaches are screened through the following processes:

  1. Written application.
  2. References from friend, pastor, and/or supervisor.
  3. Criminal background check where applicable. (If the applicant has not been living in a country that facilitates a background check process, a series of personal interviews with both applicant and references will take place.) Individuals who have been accused, convicted of, or are under the suspicion of crimes against children, or who have been convicted of violent crimes or other relevant crimes, will not be permitted to serve at GIS.
  4. Interview

Training

The Student Safety Director (SSD) in cooperation with the Superintendent will monitor student safety training for all staff in order to sustain compliance with CSPN standards. 

The SSD will ensure all students receive annual, age-appropriate personal safety training.

Training for GIS staff, school aides, and coaches will be provided through video, in person, or in whole department meetings each year. The following aspects will be addressed:

  • The reality and occurrence of student abuse/harm in the mission and school settings
  • Recognizing the types of abuse/harm, behavioral and emotional indicators in students, as well as red flags that signal the presence of a potential respondent
  • Cultural differences regarding student safety
  • Best practices of prevention: visibility, accountability, power balance
  • Appropriate forms of teacher-student interaction: any touch should be student-initiated
  • How to respond to and report a disclosure or concern of abuse/harm
  • Review the Student Safety and Protection Policy and sign the Student Safety Code of Conduct:
    • I agree to abide by the policies and procedures outlined in the GIS Student Safety Policy.
    • I will not engage in emotional, or sexual abuse/harm or neglect towards any student.
    • I will not spank, hit, kick, pinch, smack, shove, yell at or physically abuse/harm any student at GIS.
    • Staff are dissuaded from befriending students on social media. All communication which does not directly relate to a school function or the passing on of essential information should be done via group or public mediums. I will not engage in child pornography or exploitation of any child. I will not engage in any sexual behavior or romantic relationship with a GIS student. 
    • If I have knowledge of any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse/harm or neglect towards a GIS student, I agree to report to the GIS Student Safety Director at studentsafety@gisthailand.org.
    • I understand that Grace International School maintains a strict policy towards adult to student and student to student abuse/harm. GIS will report cases of suspected abuse/harm or neglect to the appropriate sending mission/church and/or legal authorities. 
INFORMING and REPORTING

All GIS staff, school aides, and coaches who work with students are considered mandatory reporters. Any mandatory reporter that suspects, has knowledge of, or witnesses child abuse/harm, or neglect, must email the Student Safety Director as soon as possible. The SSD will communicate with the Superintendent within 24 hours of receiving a report. 

Any reporter, student or other, should report via email to studentsafety@gisthailand.org

There should not be any attempt by anyone to handle the situation privately or enter into any private agreement with the involved parties. 

Student Safety Pie Chart
PROCESS of INQUIRY
Student Safety Flow Chart

Parents will normally be informed if their child has been involved in a response. Mission organizations may be consulted and involved during this process.

  1. If the person who potentially did harm is GIS staff, school aide, or coach:  
       a.) The Superintendent or SSD will inform the person of the allegation and that a response has been started.
       b.) He/she will be released from all duties at the school pending the outcome of the response and will be asked to remain off campus.
       c.) The Superintendent or SSD will contact the supervising agency (if preliminary response finds probable cause).

       2. If the person who potentially did harm is a student at GIS:
              a.) The parents will be informed of the allegation and that a response has been initiated.
              b.) The supervising agency field leader will be notified that a response has been initiated.
              c.) The student will either not attend school or school functions, or the student will be monitored at school until the response is concluded.

       3. If the person who potentially did harm is not GIS staff, school aide, or coach:
             a.) If the person who did harm belongs to a mission organization, then the supervising organization field leader will be notified of the allegation and that a                             response has been initiated.
             b.) If the person who did harm is a Thai National, the local authorities will be contacted.
             c.) In the event that the person who did harm is a student from another school, the Superintendent or Principal of that school will be notified.

       4. If the person who potentially did harm is a Thai national, the Superintendent will work in cooperation with the Thai Director of GIS.

       5. If the person who potentially did harm is the Superintendent, GIS board member, Student Safety Director:
             a.) A third party investigation team will be appointed as soon as possible.
             b.) A third party inquiry team must include at least one outside professional, but preferably three, and should include at least one man and one woman.

PROTECTION FROM LIABILITY FOR ERRONEOUS REPORTS

A mandated reporter or other individual whose report turns out to be false is not liable for reports made in good faith. Liability will not incur unless it is proven that a false report was knowingly submitted or made with “reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report”.

A student who knowingly makes a false report is subject to disciplinary action. 

An employee who knowingly makes a false report is subject to termination.

HISTORICAL REPORTS

GIS is committed to taking all reports of abuse/harm to students seriously whether past or present. GIS will respond to reports of abuse/harm, no matter how old. Individuals who choose to come forward can do so knowing that GIS will listen to whatever experience they choose to share, will always take them seriously and will respond in the appropriate way to help ensure the safety of our whole community.