RESPECTFUL AND FAIR TREATMENT OF STUDENTS POLICY
The Hitek Computer School is committed to ensuring that its learning environment promotes the respectful and fair treatment of all students. While on Hitek Computer School premises or in the course of activities or events hosted by Hitek Computer School the following activities are prohibited:
Discrimination in student education occurs when a student is denied a benefit or the equal opportunity outlined above, or treated less favorably than another student, on the grounds of a personal characteristic or attributes (e.g. race, gender, religion, disability, etc.).
Discrimination can be either direct or indirect. Direct discrimination occurs when unlawful distinctions are made between individual students and student groups based on any of the discriminatory grounds. Indirect discrimination occurs when a seemingly harmless policy, rule or practice has a discriminatory effect on an individual student or student group.
The following discriminatory grounds: age; breastfeeding; career status; family responsibilities; impairment/disability (past, present or future); industrial activity; lawful political belief or activity; lawful religious belief or activity; lawful sexual activity; marital status; parental status; physical features; pregnancy or potential pregnancy; race, color, nationality, ethnic or national origin; sex; personal association with a person identified by reference to one of the above attributes.
Sexual discrimination is when a person is treated less favorable than that of a person of the opposite sex would be treated in the same or a similar circumstance. The following sexual discriminatory grounds apply under various legislative instruments: sexual orientation; gender identity; intersex status; lawful sexual activity; personal association with a person identified by reference to one of the above attributes.
The Institute does not tolerate any discrimination and higher education students who believe they may be subject to unlawful discrimination should initially discuss their concerns with the perpetrator if appropriate and safe to do so, or discuss their concerns with the School Staff or lodge a complaint to the director.
It must be highlighted that not all discrimination is unlawful, and in some instances, discrimination on certain educational grounds may be necessary and fair, such as entry age; language requirements; supplying special services or facilities for a person with an impairment that would impose an unjustifiable hardship on the Institute, etc. Unforeseen discrimination exemptions will be decided on a case by case basis by the School Director.
Harassment is perceived or actual unwelcomed conduct that humiliates, offends, or intimidates people. Harassment is bullying conduct that is neither appropriate nor relevant to a situation. This includes words, as well as acts, pictures, and images that create a hostile or threatening atmosphere. Behaviors that can be considered harassment include: verbal abuse; offensive gestures; ignoring or segregating a person or group.
The effect of harassment is to make a person feel insulted, offended, intimidated and unable to perform a task effectively or, ultimately safely.
Harassment in this policy in any form (including sexual harassment and bullying) refers to student matters only.
Sexual harassment is unwanted or unwelcome sexual behavior, whether verbal, physical or electronically communicated which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Behaviors that can be considered sexual harassment include: staring or leering; unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person or unwelcome touching; suggestive comments or jokes; insults or taunts of a sexual nature; intrusive questions or statements about a student’s personal life; displaying screen savers of a sexual nature; sending sexually explicit emails or text messages; inappropriate advances on social networking sites; accessing sexually explicit internet sites; requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates; behavior that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.
Sexual harassment is not interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual. It is not a mutual attraction or friendship.
Bullying is a form of harassment and is when a person or group of people misuse power in a relationship to repeatedly and intentionally harm others. The outcome is the victim feels distressed, less powerful or helpless and there is a risk to their wellbeing.
Bullying can be overt (obvious) such as physical, verbal, or cyber harassment, or covert (hidden) such as social exclusion or intimidation. Examples of bullying behavior include: unfair and excessive criticism; excluding someone from a group (including online or in-person); ignoring a person’s point of view; constantly changing or setting unrealistic targets for a person; undervaluing the efforts of a person; intentionally and repeatedly hurting a person physically; stalking a person; taking advantage of any power over someone else.
Bullying is not mutual arguments, disagreements or dislikes.
The Hitek Computer School does not tolerate any form of harassment and students who believe they are subject to harassment should initially discuss their concerns with the perpetrator if appropriate and safe to do so, or discuss their concerns with the School staff.
It must be also highlighted that harassment is not legitimate comment or advice (including negative comment or feedback) from others, such as genuine assessment feedback. Hitek Computer School staff are responsible for undertaking an assessment of students’ work and making a judgment about their attained knowledge and competency in a particular subject. They are also expected to provide academic guidance and advice to students to complement their assessment and may have to instruct them about academic policy, processes and timeline provisions. In itself, the act – including repeated acts – of correcting students or pointing out inadequacies of performance does not constitute harassment or bullying in an educational environment.
Similarly, invoking unsatisfactory performance procedures or misconduct procedures, or applying student progress procedures, academic integrity procedures or assessment due dates do not in themselves constitute harassment or bullying of students.
If under any circumstances, a prohibited activity occurs, the following outlines the process for addressing the activity:
- The student is encouraged to submit a complaint to the School’s office.
- The School will ensure that:The matter is referred to the Institute’s legal representatives if required at which time students will be advised that legal representation may be required if they have not already sought this.
- The student is not vilified or victimized for making a complaint or grievance.
- The complaint or grievance process will be dealt with in a professional and sensitive manner and will adhere to the principles of privacy and confidentiality.
- Support is offered to the student if required, and the student is able to have a third party of their choosing present at all meetings.
- If the complaint is substantiated that a student has behaved in a discriminative or harassing manner to another student, the Institute can initiate the following actions:
- Requested apology to those involved.
- A formal warning on student perpetrator’s file.
- Probationary enrolment for a period up to 6 months, subject to the perpetrator student’s ongoing good behavior.
- Suspend the perpetrating student from the College for a specified period of time, not exceeding 6 months.
- Cancel of enrolment for any subject of the perpetrating student.
- Exclude the perpetrating student from the Institute permanently.
- If the complaint is substantiated that a staff member has behaved in a discriminative or harassing manner to a student, the School can initiate the following actions:
- Performance monitoring (which could include enforced peer review of teaching).
- Formal warning on perpetrator’s staff file.
- Dismissal and/or termination of a contract of the perpetrating staff member.