Harassment Policy & Procedure
Trafalgar School prohibits the harassment of an individual because of that individual’s race, religious beliefs, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, skin colour, political beliefs, appearance, age, and marital or family status. Any individual who believes that she or he has been subjected to harassment of any nature should report that harassment immediately.
The policy applies to the Trafalgar School community, which is defined as current students and staff of Trafalgar School for Girls.
The policy is not intended to constrain welcome social interaction in the School.
Definition of Harassment
Harassment consists of, for example, repetition of words, acts, or gestures of a vexatious or contemptuous nature with regard to a person or group of persons on the basis of any of the grounds above. This is especially so when such conduct is likely to wound the person’s dignity, physical integrity, or psychological integrity. The behaviour need not be intentional in order to be considered harassment. It can occur on or off school premises between school community members, or in the pursuance of a school activity off premises.
- Harassment will not be tolerated in the school environment.
- All complaints of harassment will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the event of a violation of this policy.
- Trafalgar School undertakes to preserve the rights of both the complainant and respondent in all cases brought to its attention. This includes maintaining the confidentiality of the identity of all parties and the circumstances relating to the complaint and any appropriate remedial measures.
- Trafalgar School, in its stated Mission and Code of Behaviour implicitly and explicitly affirms that courtesy, tolerance, and education are the best means of preventing harassment within the school.
1. If you are being harassed:
a) Where appropriate, bring the matter to the attention of the person responsible for the conduct. Tell that person that her/his behaviour is unwelcome and ask her/him to stop.
b) Keep a record of incidents including dates, times, locations, possible witnesses, what happened, and your response. You do not need a record of events to make a complaint, but a record can strengthen your case and help you to remember details over time.
c) If you do not wish to bring the matter directly to the attention of the person responsible or where such an approach is attempted and does not produce a satisfactory result, you should report the problem to the School Counsellor.
2. Dealing with a complaint
a) Once a complaint is made to the School Counsellor, there are three possible outcomes:
i) the complainant and School Counsellor may agree that the conduct does not constitute harassment, in which case the School Counsellor will take no further steps;
ii) the School Counsellor may determine that the conduct complained of is not harassment. If the complainant still feels that the behaviour constitutes harassment, she/he may raise the matter directly with the Principal;
iii) the complainant and the School Counsellor may agree that the conduct complained of constitutes harassment and that the conduct should be raised with the alleged harasser. The School Counsellor will arrange with appropriate advice a process to address the problem.
iv) if the complainant and the School Counsellor agree that the conduct complained of constitutes harassment and the alleged harasser is the school’s Principal, the issue should be directed on a confidential basis to the Chairman of the school’s Board of Governors.
b) If the matter is still not resolved, the situation will be referred to the Principal, who will interview all relevant parties independently and review the resolution process undertaken by the School Counsellor. The Principal will study the nature, persistence, and seriousness of the alleged harassment. If the Principal finds no evidence of harassment, a written report stating this will be delivered to the alleged harasser and complainant, with a copy kept in the complainant’s file. If the complainant appears justified, the Principal will determine the appropriate action to be taken. The actions which the Principal may take include, but are not limited to, medical or psychiatric referral, suspension, probation, expulsion, or dismissal.
c) Regardless of the outcome of a harassment complaint made in good faith, the person making the complaint, as well as anyone providing information, will be protected from any form of retaliation by staff or students.
d) Since formal complaints of harassment will be treated very seriously, malicious and unfounded complaints could result in disciplinary action against the individual who filed the complaint.
(last revised: autumn, 2000)