Seisen International School’s Mission
Seisen, a Catholic International School, educates world citizens to become men and women for others and with others, in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Seisen’s mission is to provide a safe environment in order to empower each student, through shared responsibility, creativity, and human interdependence, to develop their unique talents and to become competent and compassionate players in our global society, capable of empowering others and of bringing hope and peace to our ever-changing world.
Seisen International School’s mission in accordance with and support of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1990), the recommendations based on the International Task Force on Child Protection (2015), and also in conjunction with Japanese laws regarding Child Protection, defines the term “ child” as students under the age of 18. However, due to our position of trust in the lives of our students, Seisen International School acknowledges that a student at Seisen is considered under our duty of care until the time of their graduation, irrespective of the age of the student.
- Purpose of this Document
- Essential Components
- Definition of Terms
- Indicators of Abuse
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Child Protection Teams
- Recruitment Practices at Seisen
All Seisen International School staff, faculty and administrators are mandated to report incidences of abuse and neglect. All Seisen International School staff, faculty and administrators are also required to report suspicion of abuse or neglect. All reports of abuse and neglect must be made to the division counselor or division principal should the counselor be unavailable, within 24 hours for immediate response. The counselor reports to the division principal. The counselor and / or division principal must in turn report to the Head of School. Verbal reports must also be supported by signed written documentation by the person or persons submitting the report.
Staff members at Seisen International School must report suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect whenever the staff member has reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered, or is at significant risk of suffering abuse or neglect. Reporting and follow up of all suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect will proceed in accordance with administrative regulations respective to this policy. Furthermore, cases of suspected child abuse or neglect may be reported to local authorities, the local child protection agency, the respective consulate in Tokyo, Japan, appropriate employer, and/or to the appropriate child protection agency in the home country. Seisen International School seeks to be a safe haven for students who may be experiencing abuse or neglect in any aspect of their lives. As such, Seisen will distribute this policy annually to all parents and applicants, will communicate this policy annually to students, will provide training for all staff, will make every effort to implement hiring practices to insure the safety of children, and will review the policy annually for compliance and effectiveness. The policy will also be posted on our webpage. In the case of a staff member reported as an alleged offender, Seisen International School will conduct a full investigation following a carefully designed course of due process, keeping the safety of the child at the highest priority.
Seisen International School’s ultimate goal is to have policies, procedures, and training in place so that if child abuse in any form is suspected, observed, or disclosed to any member of the community, that person will have the knowledge, information, and resources necessary to ensure that the child is safe, that the situation is communicated promptly, professionally, and effectively, and that the suspicion or incident is reported to the appropriate authorities. This document supports this goal through outlining the essential components of a Student Safeguarding Policy.
1. A Code of Conduct that guides interactions between adults and students at Seisen International School.
2. Guidelines on recognizing, responding to, and reporting allegations and suspicions of child abuse and neglect at Seisen International School.
3. Guidelines on screening and selecting staff, faculty, and volunteers at Seisen International School.
4. Training and education about child sexual abuse prevention.
5. Ensuring safe environments and practices.
6. Connecting to local authority and resources via the protocols established by the Japan Council of International Schools.
Child Protection / Student Safeguarding
is a broad term used to describe philosophies, policies, standards, guidelines and procedures to protect children from both intentional and unintentional harm.
Child Protection Policy / Student Safeguarding Policy
is a statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to protecting students from harm (to self and from others) and makes clear to all what is required in relation to the protection of students. It serves to create a safe and positive environment for children and to demonstrate that the school is taking its duty and responsibility seriously.
Child protection concerns / Student Safeguarding concerns
include suspected, alleged, selfdisclosed, or witnessed abuse of a child by anyone associated within or outside the school which must be investigated and followed by appropriate action.
According to the World Health Organization, child abuse constitutes “all forms of physical and/or emotional illtreatment including verbal abuse, 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’ A person may abuse a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional (e.g. school) or community setting; children may be abused by individuals known to them, or more rarely, by a stranger. Often children may experience multiple forms of abuse simultaneously, further complicating the problem.
Most child abuse is inflicted by someone the child knows, respects or trusts. International school communities have unique characteristics of which school personnel must be aware in terms of the individuals who are around our children. School personnel should be knowledgeable of the potential reasons why children may not be able to talk about any victimization they might have experienced.
To increase Seisen International School’s community's awareness, this document focuses on four main categories of abuse and provides basic information about the physical and behavioral signs associated with each type.
may involve hitting, punching, shaking, throwing, poisoning, biting, burning or scalding,drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing intentional physical harm to a child. (These symptoms could also indicate harm to self, such as, cutting and suicide ideation).
is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child so as to cause severe and adverse effects on a child’s emotional development. It may involve: conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved; that they are inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person; age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children; causing children frequently to feel frightened; or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of illtreatment of a child, though it may also occur alone.
involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (i.e. rape) or nonpenetrative acts. They may include noncontact activities, such as involving children in the production or viewing of pornographic material or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Children involved in commercial sex work are victims of sexual abuse, whether they perceive themselves as victims or not.
is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or physiological needs, likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health or development.
Signs of physical abuse
• Bruises, burns, sprains, dislocations, bites, cuts
• Improbable excuses given to explain injuries
• Injuries which have not received medical attention
• Injuries that occur to the body in places that are not normally exposed to falls, rough games, etc.
• Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains
• Refusal to discuss injuries
• Withdrawal from physical contact
• Arms and legs kept covered in hot weather
• Fear of returning home or of parents being contacted
• Showing wariness or distrust of adults
• Selfdestructive tendencies
• Being aggressive towards others
• Being very passive and compliant
• Chronic running away
Signs of emotional abuse
• Physical, mental and emotional development is delayed
• Showing delayed speech or sudden speech disorder
• Fear of new situations
• Low self-esteem
• Inappropriate emotional responses to painful situations
• Extremes of passivity or aggression
• Drug or alcohol abuse
• Chronic running away
• Compulsive stealing
• Obsessions or phobias
• Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration
• Attention seeking behavior
• Persistent tiredness
Signs of sexual abuse
• Pain or irritation to the genital area
• Vaginal or penile discharge
• Difficulty with urination
• Infection, bleeding
• Fear of people or places
• Regressive behaviors, bed wetting or stranger anxiety
• Excessive masturbation
• Sexually provocative
• Stomach pains or discomfort walking or sitting
• Being unusually quiet and withdrawn or unusually aggressive
• Suffering from what seem physical ailments that can’t be explained medically
• Showing fear or distrust of a particular adult
• Mentioning receiving special attention from an adult or a new “secret” friendship with an adult or
• Refusal to continue with school or usual social activities
• Age inappropriate sexualized behavior or language
Some indicators of neglect
• Medical needs unattended
• Lack of supervision
• Consistent hunger
• Inappropriate dress
• Inadequate nutrition
• Fatigue or listlessness
• Extreme loneliness
• Extreme need for affection
• Poor personal hygiene
• Frequent lateness or nonattendance at school
• Low selfesteem
• Poor social relationships
• Compulsive stealing
• Drug or alcohol abuse
Long term impact of unmitigated child abuse
The impact of child abuse can persist for a lifetime after the abuse has been committed. Some victims of abuse are resilient and thus manage to function and survive. Much research has established the relationship between longterm child abuse and lifetime health and wellbeing, especially if the children do not get appropriate support to help them cope with the trauma. The most important point to consider is that children often are exposed to multiple forms of abuse and suffer a myriad of symptoms. Furthermore, all forms of abuse have the potential for longterm impact on the victims, and can affect the victim's ability to function as a human being. Abuse challenges the selfvalue,selfesteem, and sense of worth of its victims, rendering them hopeless, helpless and unable to live a complete life.
Long term impact of child abuse
• Poor educational achievement
• Inability to complete responsibilities
• Inability to live according to plan/ability
• Inability to care for self
• Inability to coexist, cooperate or work with others
• Lack of selfconfidence, prone to addiction
• Inability to express love / or accept love
• Inability to lead a family, constant health problems
• Prone to mental health problems
• Low selfesteem, depression and anxiety
• Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• Attachment difficulties
• Eating disorders
• Poor peer relations, selfinjurious behavior (e.g., suicide attempts)
In addition to knowing the signs of victimization, below are some early warning signs to look out for in potential offenders
Signs of offenders (students)
• Unusual interest in sex, sexualizing inanimate objects and activities
• Does not stop sexual misbehavior when told to stop
• Uses force and coercion in social situations
• Unusual intensity when discussing sex and sexuality
• Socializes with children much younger
• Gives gifts, requires secrecy in relationships
Signs of offenders (adults)
• Has “favorite” student or child
• Attempts to find ways to be alone with children
• Inappropriate language, jokes and discussions about students/children
• Sexualized talk in the presence of students/children
• Gives private gifts or has private chats on facebook/internet
- Staff Code of Conduct
- Communication with Students
- General Communication
- Social Media
- Day to Day Interactions
- Field Trips
- Use of alcohol, tobacco and/or drugs
a)Seisen International School’s Code of Conduct provides clear expectations to all employees, and volunteers who represent the school and who interact with students (including externally hired coaches and teaching assistants employed by parents for students with special needs) in both a direct and / or unsupervised capacity.
b) Consequences of failure to comply with the Code of Conduct may result in any or all of the following, dependent on the seriousness of compliance failure:
1) Official Reprimand recorded and placed in employee’s file
2) Suspension with pay until an official investigation has been conducted
3) Immediate dismissal
SEISEN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL’S CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ALL FACULTY, STAFF, AND VOLUNTEERS
Seisen International School is committed to the safety and protection of all Seisen International School’s students. This Code of Conduct applies to all employees and volunteers who represent the school and who interact with our students in both a direct and / or unsupervised capacity. This Code of Conduct applies to both the public and private conduct of those acting on behalf of Seisen International School.
We must at all times be aware of the responsibilities that accompany our work in both our professional and private life. We should be aware of our own and other persons’ vulnerability, especially when working alone with students, and be particularly aware that we are responsible for maintaining physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries in such interactions. We must avoid any covert or overt sexual behaviors with those for whom we have responsibility. This includes speech or gestures as well as physical contact that exploits, abuses or harasses.
We must always intervene when there is evidence of, or there is reasonable cause to suspect, that students are being abused in any way. Suspected abuse or 10 Seisen International School Student Safeguarding Handbook neglect must be reported to the school counselor or division principal who in turn report to the Head of School.
(For the purpose of this Code of Conduct electronic communication and social media encompass software, applications (including those running on mobile devices) email and websites, which enable users to interact, create and exchange information online. Examples include but are not limited to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Snap Chat, ASKFM.) As digital citizens faculty and staff are expected to model the required behavior we expect to see online of our students.
Maintaining professional boundaries in all forms of communication, technology related or not, is vital to maintaining appropriate professional relationships with students. Faculty and staff at Seisen International School when communicating with students electronically, only communicate with students through school email accounts or school sanctioned platforms such as Managebac, Google Classroom, or Edmodo. There is to be no exchange of private texts, private phone calls, personal email addresses or photos of a personal nature with students.
2) Professional and courteous language is to be used at all times. Professional “sign off” on emails at all times.
3) Faculty and Staff must maintain a professional distance from students by communicating electronically at appropriate times of the day, especially in terms of one on one communication. Unless in an emergency situation Faculty and Staff must refrain from:
a) Corresponding with students after 7pm in ES and 8pm in MS and HS. Faculty and staff should also not engage in communication with students regarding Google Doc and Managebac notifications after these times.
b) Corresponding with students on Sundays unless in relation to a service event or a school sponsored event on that day. 11 Seisen International School Student Safeguarding Handbook
c) Corresponding with students during holidays In case of an emergency situation or a situation of concern, the division principal must be copied on all correspondence.
4) Principals must be informed of correspondence with parents in regards to concerns raised about the physical and /or emotional well being of the student.
1) Facebook is not a school sanctioned communication tool for students and teachers or staff. Teachers cannot be ‘friends’ with students on Facebook.
2) Former students must have graduated High School before a friend request can be accepted or requested.
3) Students’ images cannot be posted on private accounts and professional blogs of teachers or staff (even if images are from a school event).
4) Faculty and staff are expected to monitor all content they or others post to their social media accounts and are expected to remove anything that is inappropriate.
1) Teachers or staff cannot act as legal guardians of students unless in extenuating circumstances, and only then in prior consultation with, and the approval of, the Head of School.
2) Teachers or staff cannot visit a student’s home without the parent(s) being present.
3) No sleepovers are allowed at teacher’s home or on the school premises. Teachers cannot attend a sleepover at a student’s home.
4) No private parties with students at teachers’ homes. ( Team dinners at restaurants need approval of division principal)
5) Professional discretion should be used by faculty parents or faculty members should they be in attendance at private parties, on family group trips, or overnight trips in the company of Seisen parents and families. Confidentiality regarding school issues should be maintained.
1) Physical contact with a student can be misconstrued both by the recipient and those observing, and should occur only when completely non sexual and otherwise appropriate, and never in private.
2) One on one meetings with a student must be held in a public area; in a room where the interaction can be (or is being) observed ( blinds cannot be drawn); or in a room with the door left open, and another staff member is notified about the meeting.
3) Students are never to be left unsupervised during the school day. After school students who miss the school bus or have parents who are late collecting them after school must also be supervised.
4) Teachers must seek permission from their division principal to meet with students if outside of school hours of 8am 4pm Monday through Friday or for Saturday classes / extra help. An administrator must be on site for Saturday classes to take place.
5) Professional language and cultural sensitivity to be displayed at all times.
6) Elementary students change for PE in the homeroom of the female elementary teacher.
7) PSPE classes take place in the Elementary class with two adults ( teacher / counselor / school nurse) present for classes dealing with human growth and development.
1) Permission slips must be distributed and accounted for in the case of all field trips including Day trips.
2) Consistent attendance taking must be conducted.
3) Overnight trips should have daily communication from chaperones to division principal, parents, and Head of School.
4) Male chaperones cannot enter hotel rooms of students, female chaperones can enter rooms.
5) Immediate reporting of disciplinary, and or health and safety issues that occur on the trip to the division principal and the Head of School.
6) No consumption of alcohol or use of drugs or tobacco by chaperones or students on the trip.
Faculty and staff at Seisen International School are expected to respect the laws of Japan pertaining to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Consumption of alcohol at school sponsored events is restricted to the explicit permission of the Head of School. Alcohol cannot be consumed or stored in the classrooms at any time. Staff parties are restricted to designated areas and designated times by the Head of School. (for example the teachers’ cafeteria and larger parties in the main cafeteria). The entire Seisen campus is a non smoking environment. At no time can an adult employed by Seisen International School purchase for, or share / supply with a student any alcohol, tobacco, or drug product.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF SEISEN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL’S
SAFEGUARDING POLICY AND CODE OF CONDUCT:
I, _______________________ acknowledge that I have read and that I understand Seisen International School’s Handbook on Student Safeguarding and its Code Of Conduct and I agree that in the course of my association with Seisen International School I must follow the Code of Conduct and I must never:
*Hit, physically assault, or physically or verbally or psychologically abuse students;
*Act in ways towards students that also from a psychological point of view may have a negative effect on their development, including their social and rational development;
*Engage in sexual activity or have sexual relations with a student irrespective of the definition of the age of majority or the way in which consent is legally defined in different countries believing that a student is older, than s / he in fact is, cannot be considered an acceptable defence;
*Have relations with a student that can be any way considered exploitation, maltreatment or abuse;
*Act in ways that may be abusive or put a student at risk of exploitation, maltreatment or abuse;
*Use language, make suggestions or offer advice that is inappropriate, offensive or abusive;
*Behave in a manner that is inappropriate or sexually provocative;
*Establish or engage in continuous contact with students using online personal communication not sanctioned by the school;
*Do things of a personal nature for students that they can do for themselves;
*Give money, or goods, or benefits to a student without your division principal being aware of this;
*Offer transport in a car to a student without express parental / administration permission or in the case of emergency;
*Condone or participate in behavior by students that is illegal, abusive or endangers their safety;
*Act in ways intended to shame, humiliate, belittle or degrade students or otherwise perpetrate any form of emotional abuse;
*Discriminate against, show differential treatment towards or favor particular students to the exclusion of others.
I acknowledge that I must comply with the mandatory reporting regulations of Seisen International School and report any concerns, suspicions, or certainties about possible abuse or maltreatment of a student in accordance with the general procedures of Seisen International School’s Student Safeguarding Policy.
I acknowledge that I will cooperate fully in any investigation of abuse of students.
I understand that any action inconsistent with Seisen International School’s Code of Conduct or failure to take action mandated by the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action including termination of contract. Name:________________________ Signature: _______________________ Date:
5.Child Protection Teams Roles and responsibilities
It is obligatory for faculty, staff, and administrators to report incidents of physical or psychological violence, aggression, harassment, and physical or sexual abuse immediately or within the next school day, to a school counselor who, in turn, shall inform the principal and Head of School.
Students are encouraged to report incidents for which they themselves or others may be the victims. Reporting by students may be verbal or in writing and shared with any school employee, who, in turn, shall communicate this information to a school counselor in verbal and written format. The school counselor will inform the principal and Head of School. The counselor shall gather information and provide further written documentation including the date, person or persons involved, and any additional relevant information.
If there is reasonable cause to believe child abuse has occurred as defined within this document, the counselor will report to the Principal who shall follow the steps noted in these guidelines, documenting all aspects of the investigation and resulting actions. The Head of School will be informed at all stages by the principal and / or counselor.
Such actions include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
*Conference with students involved
*Meeting with parents
*Meeting with others pertinent to the case, including the alleged perpetrator(s) *Contacting school nurse
*Mandatory counseling sessions
*Referral to the Child Protection Team
*Reporting to child protection services
*Legal action and prosecution by the authorities
*Suspension or termination of employment (if a school employee)
Sample FlowChart for Reporting and Actions after Disclosure
Where there is cause to suspect child abuse or neglect, it is the responsibility of the staff member to report their suspicions to the counselor, or to the principal, should the counselor be unavailable. In all cases, the principal and Head of School will be notified.
Members of School Child Protection Team / Student Safeguarding Team
Designated Child Protection Officer (CPO)
School Division Counselor
Division Principal or Assistant Principal
Head of School
Members of External Multidisciplinary team
Child Protection Services Representative
Recruitment Practices at Seisen International School
Aligned with the recommendations of the International Task Force on Child Protection, we hold ourselves to a high standard of effective recruiting practices with specific attention to child protection.
Seisen International School will:
a) Perform ‘live contact’ ( phone, skype, face to face) reference checks of at least 2 references
b) Perform one reference check from direct supervisor of candidate (minimum level of Assistant Principal)
c) Contact all references through business email / business phone numbers
d) Verify credentials
e) Conduct internet checks of all prospective employees
f) Require Police background checks
g) Review and update recruitment practices as per ITFCP recommendations/ requirements
Seisen International School is committed to general training for all faculty and staff in student safeguarding and to training designated faculty for specific roles in the Student Safeguarding Team. The school year 2016 2017 will be used to provide some limited training and research on best training practices, recommended trainers and review of training.