Children at East-West attend school in a safe environment. They can expect that they will be treated with respect by every person: all staff, parents and other students. Staff at East-West will be held accountable for actions that do not respect students.
Staff at East-West will only be employed with a valid and current police background check from their home country as well as other countries where they have recently been employed.
A contract can be cancelled before its termination date in the event of serious misconduct. Serious Misconduct includes:
- Relational behavior that violates students physically or emotionally, by word and/or action
- Inappropriate touch (be guided by the rule that only touch which they would feel comfortable doing in front of the class or the child’s parents is appropriate)
- Time alone with one child for unreasonable reasons and durations
- Seeking inappropriate contact with students after school hours, including social media
- Isolating students for lengths of time as punishment for behavior
- Consistent yelling at students to gain attention or as a normal way of relating within the classroom
- Consistent sarcastic comments or put downs
- Bullying, which also includes controlling a class by fear
Categories of Abuse
There are four main categories of abuse:
- Neglect: ostracism of a child so that teaching and/or care is withheld.
- Mental/Emotional Abuse: Words and/or actions that convey to a child that they are worthless or inadequate.
- Physical Abuse: Physical injury to a child –deliberately inflicted, knowingly not prevented, or done to self as instructed by an adult. This includes hitting, shaking, biting, kicking or kneeling in a particular place for any period of time, or tying of hands, or any actions which result in the physical discomfort or hurt of a child.
- Sexual Abuse: Gaining sexual gratification from a child.
Behavior that results in time alone with one child for unreasonable reasons and/or durations and seeking inappropriate contact with students after school hours will be indicators that behavior and intention may be compromised. Avoid the appearance of impropriety by keeping student/teacher interactions in view of the public.
No employee shall discipline a child in a physical manner or in a manner which is belittling or shaming. An extreme emotional response from a child is an indication of an inappropriate discipline. No employee shall discipline a child by isolating the child in a place which is not supervised by adults (this includes sending a child out of the room). All inappropriate discipline observed by staff must be reported.
Parents and Children in the Home
The school community must be aware of Cambodian family dynamics and understand that, as foreigners, teachers may think differently and expect different relational styles within a family and a community. If we suspect that a child is being abused in the home, teachers must talk with the Principal or the Director who will consult with someone with knowledge of local customs. Without adequate thought and investigation, a child may receive more abuse due to the school’s intervention. Foreigners need to be patient with the process and not impose processes or procedures that are relevant in their own countries but may be ill-informed in Cambodia. This does not mean inaction, just the right action.