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Dr Adrienne Huber small title
Guiding Principles for Interpersonal Relations




Guiding Principles for Interpersonal Relations

Adrienne Huber (2001)

Braymur School does not manage the behaviour of its community. Rather, the whole school community agrees to support this set of guiding principles for interpersonal interactions and relations so as to create a safe, caring and happy learning environment for all who choose to become members of the community. Consistent effort to understand relationship difficulties is an integral part of school life based on the following principles:

Joining the Braymur community implies a contract between the individual (student/employee/parent(s)/guardian(s)) and the school community.

The community invited membership and the individual, in accepting membership, agrees to live within the community's guiding principles from the time they leave home until returning home and whenever participating in school community activities outside the school grounds.

Students do as teachers ask for the wellbeing of the community members. Teachers are not to request arbitrary actions by students. Students may review with the teach about the need for request later.

Families, peers, teachers, society and other adults influence the choices of people of all ages. All members of the community support others to live within the community's guiding principles.

Individuals choose their own actions, consciously or not, and learn to accept responsibility for them as part of their wellbeing and that of the whole school community.

Punishment, adult disapproval, moralism, coercion and force are inimical to this school's philosophy as are the apportioning of blame and the allocation of guilt.

We plan for and act in way such that Braymur is:

A safe, caring and happy community in which each and all members feel valued and their rights and responsibilities as community members are honoured;

A dynamic environment in which interpersonal difficulties are addressed as they occur;

All members of the school community are able to understand, articulate and participate where possible in reviewing the guiding principles for interpersonal interactions;

An environment where people of all ages and levels relate freely in an egalitarian environment;

The General Meeting, ongoing discussion and negotiation provide important avenues for enhancing and enriching interpersonal relations within the school community;

New community members are to be treated with understanding and supported to enhance their own understanding of how to act as members of the Braymur community.

These guiding principles:

Focus on providing opportunities and support for all community members to experience physical, emotional, social and intellectual wellbeing and growth;

Support the use of reasoned argument, understanding and negation of interpersonal relations for the enhancement of wellbeing within the community;

Encourage and support, in all members of the community, an acceptance and responsibility for their actions, emotions and thinking; and

Ensure that all members of the community will work together to create a safe, caring, happy and mutually fulfilling learning environment.

This includes:

Caring for each other through respecting each other's right to learn without interruption from others;

Caring for each other through respecting each other's belonging; and caring for the physical environment within which we live and learn; and

Encouraging and providing a collaborative means for reviewing personal applications of these guiding principles for enhancing wellbeing within interpersonal relations within the whole community.

Rights and Responsibilities

Wellbeing and interpersonal relations suffer when interpersonal interactions involve discomfort, insecurity and/or unease for another. Experiences may include physical aggression, verbal derision, emotional manipulation and other forms of intimidation.

Dealing with interactions which involve discomfort, insecurity and/or unease will usually, initially, include discrete discussions, negotiations and counselling for those involved.

Such interactions may be subsequently raised publicly in a school meeting (e.g. a General Meeting, a staff, parent, class or small group meeting, or a parent-student-staff meeting) in order to seek assistance with understanding and how to proceed to re-establish community and individual wellbeing. With this framework in mind-

Everyone has a right:

To be respected;

To feel safe at all times;

To feel free from Physical, verbal, emotional, sexual or psychological abuse, harassment, bullying, or discrimination of any kind;

To safety for their person and property; and

Not to be disturbed or interrupted unnecessarily by others.

Everyone has a responsibility to protect and maintain these rights for all.

Adults have additional responsibilities as follows:

To maintain the integrity of the progressive nature of Braymur's philosophy of education such that the interests of children and these guiding principles for interpersonal relations are paramount in all learning opportunities provided and in so doing, provide a curriculum that satisfies Registration Board guidelines;

To communicate and work with each other to provide a support system that encourages growth and wellbeing in the areas of self confidence and competence of the whole person; and to participate in the interpersonal interactions from which others may learn.

Ongoing Membership of the Braymur School Community.

The school reserves the right to respond to each person and situation individually;

With the exception of illegal activities, if a person experiences difficulties living according to these guiding principles they will be helped to develop an understanding of how to live in the community, and if, with ongoing support and counselling, a person is still unable to live in community accepted way it is deemed they are saying to the community they do not wish to remain a member. We will respect their wishes and help them find another place of learning if that is appropriate. Alternatively we will agree that it is too hard for the person to live in the Braymur community with the concomitant rights and responsibilities and will respect that and help the person find a more appropriate place to be. We do not expect or encourage persistence under repeated difficulties to a point at which the individual feels overwhelmed.

The Centre for Non Violent Communication