Peace, Discipline, and Anti-Bullying Policy


Montessori School of Yakima (MSY) provides a peaceful, enriching and safe environment for all students to grow and learn within.  We incorporate peace curriculum into all classrooms and emphasize respect for each other and the environment we share together each day.  Our staff models respect, grace and courtesy, mutual respect and appropriate conflict resolution skills.  We expect our parents and families to also model respect, grace, courtesy, mutual respect and appropriate conflict resolution skills when dealing with staff, teachers, administration, parents and students.

Montessori School of Yakima will guide the child’s behavior based on an understanding of the individual child’s needs and stage of development; will promote the child’s developmentally appropriate social behavior, self-control, and respect for the rights of others; ensure behavior management and guidance practices are fair, reasonable, consistent, and related to the child’s behavior; and prohibit any person on the premises from using cruel, unusual, hazardous, frightening, or humiliating discipline.

ANTI BULLYING/PEACE POLICY

Children at MSY are educated in peace throughout each 3 year cycle.  We focus on core values and using respectful communication skills to solve conflicts.  We closely monitor and observe the behaviors of students and staff to ensure that bullying is not allowed to occur and we take swift action to deal with any incident. We also work together to ensure that conflict resolution skills are taught and practiced, giving children the necessary tools to deal with Normal Peer Conflict.

DEFINITIONS OF BULLYING AND NORMAL PEER CONFLICT

Bullying is a willful, conscious desire to hurt, frighten, or threaten.  Although it is usually ongoing in nature, it may also consist of a single, intentional incident.  Bullying is a series of repeated, intentionally cruel incidents, or threat of harm, that involve the same children, in the same bully and victim roles.  It involves an imbalance of power, either real or perceived.  It can be physical and/or verbal and may include racial, religious and sexual harassment.  Additionally it can include offensive gestures, inappropriate touching, intimidation, extortion and social exclusion.  The behavior is designed to intentionally hurt, injure, embarrass, upset or discomfort the other person. Due to the willful and conscious nature, preschool children are not characteristically developmentally capable of carrying out bullying and are often involved in Normal Peer Conflicts.

 

Normal Peer Conflict is a part of every child’s life experience.  As children learn to give and take, learn about cooperation and social interaction, conflict naturally occurs.  Children in the early years do not always think of others.  Their goal in both friendship and play is egocentric, or self-centered.  They are still learning self-control and developing a sense of personal space. A common response to frustration is one of rejecting the other child, both emotionally and physically.  Pushing or getting upset about not being first in line, grabbing an item away from another child, disagreeing about what to play or how to proceed in a game, or saying, “I’m not going to be your friend anymore,” are all examples of Normal Peer Conflict. It is typically characterized by the developmental level of the children involved.  Relationship and social struggles often surface in the early elementary years, as children become more independent and attempt to navigate friendships and group dynamics.  Aggression and hurtful remarks are part of conflict at all ages; they do not necessarily mean that a bully-victim problem exists.

DISCIPLINE POLICY

Discipline at MSY is based on a positive attitude toward children.  Students are taught that MSY is a peaceful school based upon mutual respect and intentional violence or bullying will not be tolerated.  Appropriate use of non-violent communication and frustration tolerance skills are expected and modeled.

Montessori School of Yakima requires all employees, and encourages parents, to report any known incidents of bullying or willful or deliberate violence within 24 hours to their child’s teacher and/or the Head of School.  When such an incident is observed, employees are required to complete an Incident Report and to send copies to the Head of School.  Families of the children involved in bullying or willful violence will be notified.  Incidents of Normal Peer Conflict may or may not be reported, depending on the details and events.

DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES

Following Montessori philosophy, our policy is to assist children in arriving at inner discipline through concentrated work.  In all areas the child is assisted in developing the skills necessary to control their own actions to develop self-discipline.  Natural or logical consequences are used as a means of helping the child to develop inner limits.  Classroom guidelines are as follows:

  • If a child is disruptive or endangers others, staff immediately intervene in as positive manner as possible.
  • If a child has trouble settling into the class, they are redirected to an activity by the teacher.
  • If the child is still unable to settle down, the teacher will intervene and may have the child remain beside them until the child is able to calm down and make respectful choices.
  • When an incident occurs, then teacher or staff involved will submit a summary of the incident on an Incident Report form.
  • If the behavior becomes extreme, the teacher will schedule a meeting with the parents and, depending on the circumstances, with the Head of School or appropriate staff, while the incident is still fresh in the child’s mind.  Staff, parents, and child will respectfully work together to modify the behavior. It is important to note that modifying the behavior will take time as the child develops inner limits.
  • If a pattern of willful, disruptive behavior develops:
    • Teachers will record behavioral observation
    • The teacher will inform the student’s parents
    • Appropriate staff will be notified
    • The student, teacher, parents, and Head of School will work together to modify behavior and when appropriate additional professional help with be solicited.
  • If a child persists in the unprovoked, willful and deliberate hurting of others, after being reasoned with and experiencing consequences, there will be an immediate one day suspension from school.
  • Continued negative behavior will result in the school requiring a behavioral evaluation by a professional, and the possible removal of the student from the school.

UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

Unacceptable conduct is defined as any willful, deliberate behavior that creates unsafe conditions including, but not limited to, acts of bullying, willful and deliberate physical violence, harassment, and illegal acts.  It does not include Normal Peer Conflict.

The following procedures will be followed when an occurrence or pattern of unacceptable conduct is identified:

  • Verbal notification to each parent involved.
  • Consultation with parent and teacher, and when appropriate Head of School or appropriate staff.
  • Written plan for subsequent action and follow up review.

Normal Peer Conflict is not included in the definition of Unacceptable Conduct, and therefore the procedures outlined above do not apply to such circumstances.

BULLYING PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT

Montessori School of Yakima encourages students to show respect for differences in others, including but not limited to race, gender, and religion while fostering a school environment free from all forms of bullying and intimidation.

In partnership with families the school’s focus, based on Montessori pedagogy, is on preventative measures for such behaviors, by teaching children how to:

  • Be caring and courteous
  • Cooperate with others
  • Deal with negative feelings (anger, jealousy, etc.)
  • Stand up for themselves without being aggressive
  • Engage in discussions to resolve differences, express feelings,  and show empathy
  • Respect and celebrate the unique qualities of every person

COMMITMENT OF MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF YAKIMA

Non-violent communication

  • Encourage teachers to embody peaceful programs against bullying and violence in their classroom curriculum in order to develop a positive educational approach to minimize such behavior.
  • Encourage parents to work as a member of a peaceful team with teachers, staff, other parents, and administration to resolve issues in a way that respects the individual needs of all children and adults involved.
  • Record incidents of bullying or willful violence in a consistent way, using the MSY Incident Report form, that allows for monitoring of such behavior.
  • Respect for the privacy of student and family information, including discipline issues.
  • Discuss appropriate standards of behavior and school rules with all students.
  • Involve the other agencies as necessary.

 Student support

  • Improving the self-esteem of victims through activities that build self-confidence, self-awareness, and the ability to stand up for themselves.
  • Requesting counseling when appropriate, and reserving the right to require counseling to continue a student’s enrollment.
  • Developing programs to assist students to work cooperatively with others rather than in a confrontational way.
  • Teaching conflict resolution skills
  • Taking bullying and willful and deliberate violence seriously and thoroughly investigating.
  • Helping children develop positive conflict resolution skills to deal with Normal Peer Conflict.