Like any family, a school must have rules. Because of our legal responsibility they are necessarily long and detailed. But the bottom line is simply this: put God first, work hard, play hard, try to love and respect each other. If you can manage this, you will do well. In accepting a place at the College for their son, parents agree that he and they are bound by the College’s regulations. In coming to live and work here, a boy also accepts to be bound by them (as do the members of staff).
A. Operation of the School Programme
1. Orderly atmosphere conducive to learning: Any behaviour of boys or groups of boys that detracts from the orderly atmosphere of the school is prohibited. Any act which is reasonably calculated to or reasonably expected to disrupt or tend to disrupt the orderly, peaceful, normal or efficient conduct of any school activity (or any act which violates school rules) is prohibited. Such disorderly behaviour includes, but is not limited to: a. Insubordination. By this is meant open defiance of authority, or failing to obey the instructions of any member of the College staff or any person delegated with the authority of the College, or failure to comply with any school policy, contract, rule, term or condition; b. Shouting, loud talking, or making any other noise, or indulging in any kind of behaviour that constitutes an interference, disturbance or disruption of any class or activity of the College; c. Wearing clothes (or jewellery and similar items) that are not part of the uniform, or wearing the uniform in such a way that demeans the College, is disrespectful or is in any way slovenly and untidy. Failing to present a clean and neat personal appearance, with uniform in a good state of repair, or being unshaven or violating haircut regulations; d. Forgetting or failing to bring, when required, books or other materials required by teachers, supervisors or coaches.
2. Attendance obligations It is important that pupils are on time for classes and that they participate in all compulsory College activities. Daily Mass, other specified College religious services, mealtimes, sport lessons, music lessons, music practice and timetabled academic lessons are all important parts of our life of the College. The following constitute violations of attendance obligations: a. Being absent from school without appropriate permission; (On all occasions where it is anticipated that a pupil will miss school, arrive late at the start of term, or leave before the end of term, then a written request must be presented to the Head Master for his prior approval. This is so as not disrupt the College’s teaching.) b. Being absent from a class or compulsory College activity without the appropriate consent; c. Arriving late for a class or compulsory College activity; d. Loitering between classes; e. Being in a prohibited area (eg. unused parts of the building, staff accommodation, dangerous areas) without a member of staff present, or leaving the College premises without permission; (This is essential, as we are responsible for the welfare of our pupils, so that even if they are not on site, we must know where they are and when they can be expected to return.) f. Leaving a class or other compulsory activity without asking the appropriate permission.
B. Social and moral behaviour
1. Offences against persons Any behaviour which is or threatens to be an actual detriment to the health, safety or well-being of other members of the College (pupils and staff) is prohibited. Such behaviour includes, but is not limited to: a. fighting; assault; throwing objects that may cause harm; b. Threatening to do physical harm; c. Possession of any dangerous object or implement that could cause harm; d. Being in possession of or under the influence of illegal drugs; e. Except for a very few special occasions, and then under strict adult supervision, being in possession of, or under the influence of alcoholic beverages (including evidence that a pupil has recently consumed an alcoholic beverage); f. Being in possession of, or using, cigarettes or other forms of tobacco; g. The use of indecent language, orally or in writing, or the use of words, phrases or gestures that are generally considered to be socially unacceptable or offensive; being in possession of indecent or pornographic material; h. Speaking or conducting oneself in any manner that shows blatant disrespect of staff or other pupils, i.e. in a manner which is calculated to, or does, bully, harass, degrade, humiliate a person or group of persons; i. Cheating; j. Lying; k. Bringing the name of the College into disrepute, on or off the College premises, by any behaviour that fails to show due respect or restraint.
2. Offences against property College property belongs to the College as an institution and is held not only for the benefit of current pupils, but for those who will come to Chavagnes in the future. It must be protected from careless as well as intentional abuse or damage. The same respect should be shown to the property of staff, other pupils, or indeed anyone else. The reimbursement for such damage is a minimum requirement. If an accident occurs and there is some damage to property, it must be reported as soon as possible if the imputation of willful damage is to be avoided. a. Any behaviour which results in the abuse, loss, destruction of, or damage to, College grounds, buildings, furnishings, materials or equipment is forbidden (this includes writing or scratching graffiti on walls, desks, etc.) For this reason, ball games are only to be played in designated areas. b. Any behaviour which results in the loss, abuse, destruction of, or damage to, any other individual’s property is likewise prohibited. c. The obtaining of money or other property under threat of harm or by force is prohibited. d. The loss of books or equipment entrusted to a pupil by the College will be calculated on replacement value. Books must be returned at the request of staff. e. Unauthorised borrowing is considered as theft. f. The lending or borrowing of property between pupils is at their own risk, and the College takes no responsibility should damage or loss ensue. g. Pupils are forbidden to bring to school miscellaneous items not required for school activities that may distract the pupils from their studies. The Head Master may from time to time publish on the school noticeboard lists of further prohibited items. All such items, if brought to school, are liable to temporary, or in certain cases, permanent confiscation. h. Pupils are responsible for all property under their care and are required to exercise due care in this responsibility. i. All property and items of clothing should be clearly marked with the owner’s name. Sewn-in name-tapes are required for clothing. All other items should be indelibly marked in some other way. j. The littering of buildings or grounds with discarded papers or other materials is a serious offence.
C. Withholding information: You are your brother’s keeper Pupils are expected to distinguish between serious moral offences and ‘technical’ offences. If any person withholds information on a matter of serious moral concern, such a person is morally and legally considered to be an abettor, and may be disciplined for his silence.
D. Notes on personal appearance All boys at the College should take pride in their appearance for its own sake, but also as representatives of the College. Hair must be above the eyebrows, above the ears, above the collar. If a boy wishes to have very short hair it should be in a military crew-cut style, otherwise the rule is ‘not too short, not too long.’ Pupils are not permitted to colour, tint, dye or bleach their hair. Pupils who are old enough to have a growth of beard are expected to do shave as often as is necessary to remain tidy and clean-shaven. Ties must be worn properly, not back-to-front or upside down or otherwise skewed, as is the fashion in some circles. The top button must be done up on the shirt, except when the summer dress code is in force. There will be occasions when pupils are permitted to change into informal clothes, but the decision to allow this is that of the staff, not of the pupils.
E. Sanctions and appeals In our pastoral care for students, we hold to the philosophy of St John Bosco that love and prevention are better motives to good behaviour than fear and punishment. In most cases, boys will cooperate with each other and their teachers out of friendship and respect. Inevitably, however, the College may from time to time be called upon to enforce its moral and administrative authority by resorting to punishments. In a Christian community this is a particularly delicate area. Sanctions are not applied in a spirit of vengeance. They are intended to inspire a change in behaviour. We will not use corporal punishment of any kind; if a boy’s conduct cannot be controlled without recourse to force, then we are not able to provide for his care here.
The following sanctions exist:
1. Daily detention, conducted in silence. This is during the students’ free time.
2. Deprivation of privileges.
3. Lines or punishment essays.
4. Manual work.
5. Punishment runs.
If a pupil feels that he is faced with an unjust punishment he may appeal in writing to the Dean of Discipline in the first instance, or – if his complaint is against the Dean of Discipline – he may write to the Headmaster. In practical terms such appeals will not have the effect of delaying his punishment. Sometimes, in the case of serious offences, there might be a need to demonstrate to the College at large that a particular episode of misconduct is at variance with the whole philosophy and spirit of Chavagnes, and that the perpetrator has forfeited his right to membership of the College family. We hope that such an occurrence would be extremely rare, but for the good of the whole College, we reserve the right to expel or suspend pupils in the case of truly serious misconduct.
F. Prohibited items: Category 1: DVD, Blu-ray, Video cassettes and video equipment are expressly forbidden, as are all personal tape-recorders, portable computer games, Hard drives or USB keys or similar containing films, CD-players, music cassettes and CDs and mobile telephones. Category 2: Fireworks (even bangers), knives, catapults, and other dangerous items. Category 3: Any item that may be considered indecent, dangerous or inappropriate by the Dean of Discipline or the Head Master. It should be noted that pupils will have regular opportunities to watch films and listen to music under staff guidance.
As a special privilege, which may be withdrawn at any time, pupils may be allowed to use items in Category 1 at certain times, provided – in the judgement of the College authorities – such use does not interfere with their studies or the studies of other pupils. Pupils who come to school with prohibited items should surrender them to a member of staff when they arrive in order to avoid their confiscation.
The Dean and/or the Headmaster reserve the right to confiscate permanently any DVD, CD or any other item whose content or nature they consider inappropriate or likely to contribute to foster an uncivilised atmosphere in the College. The College reserves the right to conduct searches of pupils’ belongings if it is suspected that pupils may be in possession of prohibited items. Such searches may be conducted at any time, even in the absence of the pupil. By attendance at school pupils and their parents are deemed to consent to this and all other rules and regulations; both those stated here and those announced and publicised from time to time and in writing in the College.
Published by authority of the Board (Conseil d’Administration) of the College.
(Note: The rôle of Dean of Discipline is currently filled by Mr Battye, Vice Principal.)