New Anti-Bullying Policy Proposed For Delhi Schools; Suspensions, Withholding Of Results Among Penalties

New Anti-Bullying Policy Proposed For Delhi Schools; Suspensions, Withholding Of Results Among PenaltiesStudents during a prayer at a government primary school in New Delhi. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Delhi Department of Education (DoE) has issued a circular outlining a proposed anti-bullying policy in the national capital’s schools, reports The Indian Express. The proposal recommends punitive measures such as the withholding of results, imposition of fines, school transfers, suspensions and in exceptional cases, expulsion to tackle the menace of bullying.

In furtherance of the proposal, the DoE will constitute a committee to frame the policy, which will also be responsible for monitoring its implementation. Panels will also be established at the district level as well as in all schools.

The circular states that the objective behind the proposed policy is “to have an amiable and teaching-learning conducive environment in school”.

Another key element of the policy is the creation of an anti-bullying helpline, similar to Childline. The helpline will operate independently and will keep in mind confidentiality of distressed students.

The school-level committees will be responsible for preparing ‘school bullying prevention plans’. As part of these plans, exercises such as sensitisation of staff, students and parents, value education, teaching human rights and gender sensitivity, etc. have been recommended.

Another recommendation is to make available complaint/suggestion boxes in each school, and that the feedback received through these mechanisms should be evaluated regularly. Also, prominent anti-bullying messages are proposed to placed inside school premises.

Director of Education Sanjay Goel stated that the committees outlined in the proposal will be created within the next 7-10 days, but did not mention when other recommendations such as the anti-bullying helpline would be implemented.