As protectors of children, schools fill a special institutional role in society. Schools need to ensure that all children in their care grow and develop in a safe and secure environment. Educators, having the opportunity to observe and interact with children over time, are in a unique position to identify those who are in need of help and protection. When a child needs help and protection, educators have a professional and ethical obligation to intervene so that children receive the support and assistance they may require and families may obtain services that will remedy situations posing a threat to the child’s welfare, including physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse and neglect. This policy statement is designed to reflect a core value of the American Embassy School, namely the belief that everyone “needs safety, trust and respect.”
As per the World Health Organization: “Child maltreatment is defined as: 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.”
Child abuse and neglect are violations of human rights and are harmful to the child’s education, as well as to his or her physical, emotional, and social development. If employees at the American Embassy School suspect that a child at the school has been abused or neglected, employees must make a report to the Administration. Reporting and follow-up of all suspected incidents of this nature will proceed in accordance with administrative procedures respective to this policy, keeping the safety of the child as the highest priority. Furthermore, such cases may be reported to the appropriate child protection agency in the home country, to the employer of parents or guardians about whom there are concerns, and/or to local authorities.
The American Embassy School seeks to be a safe haven for all members of our community. We feel a particular responsibility to protect children from child abuse and neglect. To meet this responsibility, the American Embassy School will implement educational programs for students and employees regarding personal safety, child abuse and neglect, and appropriate adult conduct with children. Furthermore, the school will implement and regularly review procedures, including hiring, security and training practices, to ensure the safety of the children in its care. The Administration shall communicate this policy, appropriate guidelines and educational resources to students, employees, parents, and parents of applicants.
Adopted by the AES Board of Governors, 2015