Our community functions best when we strive to be kind and respectful of both ourselves and our fellow members. All of PHS is a shared space and we must work together to ensure it is a welcoming and safe space for everyone. With that in mind, students agree to treat themselves, others, and our rented space with respect and consideration.
While in our shared space at PHS, students agree to refrain from:
- Name-calling, jokes, or slurs that put down or threaten individuals or entire groups of people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, people of color, people of particular genders, people of certain faiths or ethnic backgrounds, and people with disabilities
- R-rated, NSFW-type conversations about sex and violence
- Forcing unwanted physical contact on others or touching others without consent
- Making harassing or unkind comments about others’ bodies, appearances, or abilities
- Acting in ways that physically endanger or threaten to endanger anyone
- Damaging the space we rent from Faith United Methodist Church
- Public displays of affection more suited to a private place than a shared space
Students also agree not to harass or bully other PHS members on social media, online chat forums, or through direct messages or emails.
Some classes may involve talking about violence, racism, sexism, religious intolerance, or other emotionally charged topics, and students agree to be sensitive to others when discussing these topics.
Our community’s goal is to peacefully resolve disagreements and offer students a chance to learn from mistakes, but a pattern of not following these guidelines after being asked to change behavior can lead to a student being asked to leave Planet Homeschool.
Individual instructors also may set their own policies regarding behavior in the classroom and the removal of students from their classes for cause.
Students can play a key role in speaking up if something bothers them or makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable at PHS. Examples:
“Your music is too loud for me. Can you please turn it down or use headphones?”
“I felt really offended by that anti-gay joke. Could you not tell jokes like that here?”
If students don’t feel safe or comfortable addressing a problem themselves, or if talking to the person upsetting them doesn’t resolve the issue, students can ask for help from an adult volunteer or teacher at PHS or from their parents. If a parent monitor or another student speaks to a student about modifying their behavior, the student is expected to do their best to respond courteously to the request, change their behavior as needed, or ask for help or clarification if they’re not sure what they’re being asked to do or why their behavior is a problem.
For Parent Monitors:
Adult volunteers doing parent monitor shifts will do their best to respond to problems or requests for help in two main ways: by using affective statements that give students information about how their behavior is affecting others, and by asking all people involved in a situation:
- What happened/What’s happening?
- What were you thinking about while this was happening?
- What does everyone in this situation need right now?
- What needs to happen so everyone’s needs and boundaries are respected?
Cards with these questions will be available to volunteers at every shift, and volunteers can seek help from other adult volunteers with addressing any issues that come up during their shift. Adult volunteers also will document any conflicts or behavior problems during their volunteer shifts on a Volunteer Shift Log form, so parents and lead volunteers can be aware of what happened and be on the look-out for patterns that need addressing. Lead volunteers may follow up with parent monitors to see if a simple conversation resolved a problem or if more follow-up is needed.
If more follow-up seems warranted, lead volunteers can support parents and students involved in the problem in having direct conversations with each other to work out problems.
If the above steps don’t resolve a problem, the involved families will be invited to participate in a restorative circle process facilitated by a trained PHS volunteer. The circle could include directly involved families, a small number of supporters, and possibly a small number of other community members to provide perspective and share fresh ideas to solve the problem.
Possible resolutions might include requiring a parent to stay on-site with their child during classes and/or free periods. Every effort will be made for a family to remain at PHS, but in rare instances, community members involved in the circle process may decide that the healthiest course of action is for a student or family to leave PHS. Members are expected to abide by any such decision.
Summary of Steps in Conflict Resolution Process
1. Student to Student conversation if possible
2. Parent and/or Student conversation with Parent Monitor or Teacher if needed
3. Parent and Student conversation with other Parent and Student involved and follow-up/check-in about progress as needed
4. If involved Parents/Students aren’t satisfied with resolution reached through Steps 1-3, involved Parents/Students participate in restorative circle process with other community members to reach resolution
5. Community members participate in restorative circle process decide resolution, involved Parents/Students shall abide by decision