Child Protection & Safety Policy

COMMENCEMENT

The DGS Child Protection & Safety Policy is already in force.

PHILOSOPHY & ETHOS

The School promotes comprehensive school safety, where every student has a right to a protective environment which is free of violence, harassment, abuse and neglect, and is based on respect for the child. Every child has the right to enjoy an environment which is safe and protected from harm.

This Child Protection & Safety Policy addresses the different areas of vulnerability faced by the child during their time in at School, and must prepare them to take care of themselves when not in School.

As a School, we have a duty of care and obligation to protect those children for whom we are responsible and believing that the welfare of children is its highest priority and that it is the responsibility of everyone at School to ensure that they are protected. A child centric approach coupled with an affirmation of India’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is deeply embedded in our philosophy.

This approach will facilitate all children to access, participate in and benefit fully from learning opportunities in a safe space that inspires their confidence and holistic wellbeing.

APPLICABILITY

The DGS Child Protection & Safety Policy aims to protect students and applies to School Teachers, Staff, Visitors, Parents, Visiting Faculty, Vendors and Service Providers who directly or indirectly interact with students of the School on campus, or in transit while commuting on the school bus or vehicle daily, or on school trips.

The policy will apply to all personnel and persons related to the School and who come in direct or indirect contact with children.
      A. Direct Contact with Children: Being with and in the physical presence of a child or children as part of their professional or school related work, be it regular, occasional, temporary or long term.
     B. Indirect Contact with Children: Those whose work does not require them to be in the physical presence of a child but encompasses access to personal details and information, data on children including photographs, student files etc.

DEFINITIONS

Child means a student admitted and enrolled in The Doon Global School. It also means any child physically on campus, but who may not be enrolled as student with DGS.

Child abuse: according to the World Health Organisation, child abuse constitutes ‘all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.’

Physical abuse: may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or care giver fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, although it may occur alone.

Emotional abuse may involve:
• Conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person.
• Not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun ‘of what they say or how they communicate.
• Age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as over protection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating
in normal social interaction.
• Seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.
• Serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve:

•  Physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or nonpenetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing.
•  Non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet)

Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. 

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.
Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or caregiver failing to:

  • Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment).
  • Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger.
  • Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers).
  • Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

Penal Offence means any offence that is punishable under the laws of India with corporal punishment and/or fine, such as, offences defined and punishable under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and/ or POCSO Act, 2012 and/or the Juvenile Justice Act or any other law in force on the date of the incident.

Sexual assault: Under Section 7 of POCSO Act, 2012; whoever, with sexual intent touches the vagina, penis, anus or breast of the child or makes the child touch the vagina, penis, anus or breast of such person or any other person, or does any other act with sexual intent which involves physical contact without penetration is said to commit sexual assault.

Sexual harassment : Under section 11 of POCSO Act, 2012; a person is said to commit sexual harassment upon a child when such person with sexual intent,- (i) utters any word or makes any sound, or makes any gesture or exhibits any object or part of body with the intention that such word or sound shall be heard, or such gesture or object or part of body shall be seen by the child; or (ii) makes a child exhibit his body or any part of his body so as it is seen by such person or any other person; or (iii) shows any object to a child in any form or media for pornographic purposes; or (iv) repeatedly or constantly follows or watches or contacts a child either directly or through
electronic, digital or any other means; or (v) threatens to use, in any form of media, a real or fabricated depiction through electronic, film or digital or any other mode, of any part of the body of the child or the involvement of the child in a sexual act; or (vi) entices a child for pornographic purposes or gives gratification therefore.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

  • Sensitisation Workshops for all Staff, Students and Parents
  • Safety in School Buses (Transport Policy)

SAFE RECRUITMENT
The School ensures that it only employs and engages people of sound moral character through referral checks and police verification. This is for all permanent, contractual or temporary staff.

• The first step to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in School, is to ensure recruitment of staff with integrity and values that our shared with the School. As per the aforesaid policy, DGS endeavours to attract the best possible candidates to fill the vacancies. DGS endeavours to identify and reject applications from those candidates who are unsuitable to work with students of DGS.
• The HR Department ensures that the recruitment process attracts, selects and retains staff who would successfully and positively contribute to the future development of the school apart from looking after the safety and welfare of the students.
• With a view to ensure selection of credible staff, the School does a reference check with two references being provided by an applicant. Due diligence through detailed enquiries are made, including feedback from the references, before the applicant is recruited.
• Interviews of the applicants are conducted by an interviewing panel as per HR Policy and the panel assesses the applicant’s attitude towards children as also his/ her ability to safeguard and promote welfare of children at DGS. The School clearly mentions The DGS Child Protection & Safety Policy to the interviewee.
• The HR Department also conducts a background check, and checks the candidates’ digital footprint.
• No candidate with a criminal record, record of sexual and or physical violence against children will be recruited for any position within DGS.
• All newly selected candidates must also provide a signed affidavit to the educational institution that they have not been accused of offence under the POCSO Act, 2012 and JJ Act, 2015.
• Persons engaged with and by DGS in full employment, ad-hoc or contractual employment must adhere to the Policy above.

VISITOR MANAGEMENT:
We are developing a The DGS Visitor Policy, which will include, inter alia, signing off on this Policy at the School entry point.
We have made changes in the Entry & Dispersal policy for students at the beginning and end of the School day, to ensure only necessary adult presence on campus.


CHILD PROTECTION PLEDGE
The Doon Global School has drafted and incorporated in its system the following The Child Protection Pledge. This Pledge is required to be signed by all new entrants upon joining. This document is signed at the beginning of academic session every year by all the school staff to remind them of their responsibilities towards the students of Genesis.
The Child Protection Pledge reads as follows:
“As an employee of The Doon Global School, I understand my role and responsibility of an employee at all times. I am aware of the POCSO ACT 2012 and will take the initiative to understand all the laws pertaining to Child rights. I have read and understood The DGS Child Protection & Safety policy.


As an employee of DGS I confirm:
• I will always respect all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity;
• I will always report any case of child abuse, exploitation and neglect which comes to my knowledge to appropriate authority and will not harm or abuse any child physically, emotionally or sexually.
• I will make sure that I do not physically touch any student/child in School. I will also ensure that I do not allow any student/child to touch me physically.
• I will not ignore a child or refuse to allow them access to necessities.
• I will not punish a child by mocking, teasing, or laughing at them or trying to embarrass them in front of others.
• I will not behave sexually towards a child or touch them in a sexual way.
• I will not hit or strike a child as a punishment for bad behaviour.
• I will do everything I can to make sure that the physical environment is as safe and appropriate as possible.

STATUTORY ACTS COVERED UNDER THIS POLICY
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, use of child for pornographic purpose – Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 Production, dissemination and use of child sexual abuse material – The Information Technology Act, 2000 Disclosing identity of the child victim to anyone other than appropriate authority – Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, JJ Act 2015 Corporal punishment in childcare institutions – JJ Act, 2015 Employment of children below 14 years in any occupation or industry – Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016.


COMPLIANCES
Statutory compliances used by our school to inform policy and procedure in health, safety, security and safeguarding:
1. FSSAI License.
2. Fire and Electrical safety.
3. Pollution & Environment Clearances.
4. Security services, if provided by an agency, will be registered under the PSARA Act.

Internal self-compliances are:
5. The DGS Transport Policy.
6. The DGS POSH Policy.
7. The DGS Discipline Policy.


TRAINING AND AWARENESS FOR STAFF/STUDENTS/PARENTS:
– Cyber bullying
– Sexual harassment
– POCSO
– Internet usage
– Earthquake drills
– Fire evacuation drills
– Lockdown drills
– Discipline

CHILD PROTECTION & SAFETY COMMITTEE
The Principal
The Vice Principal
Coordinator Senior
Coordinator Middle
Coordinator Junior
Coopted Staff
Coopted SMC member