The Discipline Policy at St Francis Xavier’s College evolves from the College’s Pastoral Care Policy. Both policies seek to promote a respectful, secure, and healthy learning environment in which students grow to be discerning, self-disciplined, and contributing members of society.
Society, in general, requires that there are consequences for anti-social or otherwise inappropriate actions and behaviour. Disciplinary measures such as detention and suspension allow the College:
- to remind the students that there are consequences for inappropriate actions.
- to provide the students with valuable time in which to consider their actions and make decisions about how best to alter their behaviour and repair the hurt they have caused; and,
- to provide the students with time to consider their goals and appropriate pathways by which these goals may be achieved.
These disciplinary measures assist students to develop an awareness of their rights and responsibilities and a level of self-discipline commensurate with their age.
St Francis Xavier's College declares that corporal punishment is inappropriate within the school and must not be used (Education Reform Act, 1995).
As members of the College community, students have a right to:
- Enjoy a safe and ordered environment.
- Be unhindered in their attempts to attain their educational goals.
As students they have responsibility to:
- Be respectful and be courteous to others.
- Be appreciative and be tolerant of differences.
- Use their talents, gifts, and abilities to the full.
- Always strive to do their best.
- Know and follow all College rules and expectations.
- Make their own informed decisions and accept responsibility for their actions.
The Discipline Policy is derived from the principles of procedural fairness. This means that in disciplinary situations at the College, students (and parents) have a right to be heard, and have a right to a fair and impartial decision. Students (and parents) also have a right to appeal to a higher authority if they are not satisfied that justice has been done.
The Discipline System at the College consists of four levels: basic discipline, detentions, suspensions, exclusions from College events and exclusion from the College. There is no corporal punishment at the College. The discipline levels are designed to be aligned with the type of behaviour that is being addressed. These levels are explained as follows.
- Basic Discipline covers a range of actions where students are held accountable for their actions. These may include additional work being set, limitations to freedoms, reporting to teachers and meetings with College personnel.
- Detentions are issued by staff in leadership positions for more serious behavioural incidents. Detentions are held outside normal school hours and are supervised by members of staff.
- Suspensions are instigated when other methods of discipline have been ineffective and/or for significant behavioural incidents. They are issued under the direction of the Principal and Dean of Students and with parental consultation. When students breech major expectations of the College, they can expect to be faced with a period of suspension. The length of the suspension will vary in accordance with the seriousness of the incident and the history of the student. Parents will be consulted during the suspension process. Students will be required to have a ‘re-entry interview’ before returning to the College.
- Exclusions from College events are used for specific disciplinary matters. They generally relate to any behaviour that is connected to specific activities (such as sporting issues or misbehaviour while on excursions) and may include being prohibited from attending any of the College’s functions (including the Graduation Ceremony).
- Exclusions from the College are aligned to the most serious matters. In such circumstances the College consults with the Catholic Schools Office.
Suspensions and exclusions are serious matters. Students would expect that if they were involved in an incident that warranted such consequences, then their attitudes would be reflected in the College Reference.
Unfortunately, on occasions, students can become involved in illegal activities. The College will cooperate fully with any police investigation and refer any illegal actions to the police as part of its discipline procedures. Students can be prohibited from being on the College premises if they are under a police investigation.
Serious Matters Relating to College Discipline:
- Alcohol: The consumption and/or possession of alcohol in any form is strictly prohibited. Students are not to be at the College, or be involved in any College-based activity, while under the influence of alcohol or in possession of alcohol.
- Tobacco: The smoking and/or possession of any type of tobacco product is prohibited.
- Unlawful Drugs: Under no circumstances will the use or possession of unlawful drugs of any kind be permitted.
- Violence: The College has a “non-violence” policy and therefore no student should break this rule. This includes fighting, hitting, pushing, wrestling, or any other physical contact. The College enforces this rule for the safety and wellbeing of all its students.
- Endangerment: Any action that directly, or indirectly, endangers a member of staff or another student will be considered as very serious. This includes the carrying of weapons (or items that are to be used as weapons), abetting the presence of unauthorised persons and threats of violence.
- Cyber and Phone Activity: Using the internet and/or phone to bully, harass, send inappropriate images, access inappropriate images, threaten, organise unacceptable activities is not accepted.
- Respect for a person’s property: The property of other people is to be respected. Therefore, behaviour such as stealing or willful damage is not tolerated.
Students can expect that all the actions stated above will lead to significant consequences. Such consequences include suspension and exclusion. As most of these actions are illegal, students can also expect that they will face police involvement. The College has a practice of working with the police in incidents that are illegal.