What to do if you feel that you have been discriminated against, harassed or victimised.
Discrimination, harassment and victimisation is illegal and contrary to the College’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination means treating someone worse than other people for some reason. You have rights not to be treated worse than other people, in most situations, because of your:
- Religion or belief
- Maternity or pregnancy status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity.
What is harassment?
Harassment is like bullying – it is unwanted conduct, which is offensive to the recipient.
Harassment can take many forms. Employees and learners may not always realise that their behaviour constitutes harassment, but they must recognise that what is acceptable to one person may not be acceptable to another.
Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Ridicule or demeaning behaviour.
- Insensitive jokes and pranks.
- Lewd comments and gestures, leering and whistling.
- Unwanted personal contact.
- Displays of suggestive or pornographic pictures.
- Threat of exclusion, loss of progression to another course etc. for unreasonable or personal reason.
- Bullying: i.e. the use of aggression, intimidation and/or cruelty, either physically, emotionally or verbally.
- Behaviour which condemns, ridicules or excludes people e.g. on grounds of sexual orientation.
- Socially unacceptable behaviour which fails to tolerate or acknowledge the rights of individuals within different religious convictions, beliefs and practices.
What is victimisation?
If you have complained about discrimination, or have supported someone else who has complained, and feel that you are being ‘picked on’ because of the complaint, this might be victimisation.
What to do if you feel that you have been harassed, victimised or unfairly discriminated against.
If you feel able to, it is usually helpful to explain your concerns informally to the person who you believe is harassing, victimising or discriminating against you, as they may not have been aware of the impact of their actions. If this does not work, or you do not feel confident to speak to the person directly, confiding in another trusted member of staff or speaking to the person’s line manager is another option. All teachers and other staff, who receive information of this kind, are responsible for ensuring that the matter is dealt with seriously, but sensitively.
Any member of the College community who becomes aware of any acts of discrimination, harassment or victimisation has a duty to take action to help prevent further inappropriate behaviour.
1. What to do if you feel you are being discriminated against, harassed or victimised by another student
You must tell a member of staff such as your tutor or Personal Adviser about what is happening so that they can take action.
The Student Code of Conduct says that students must –
- Use acceptable, inoffensive language.
- Follow College guidelines on computer usage.
- Refrain from all aggressive or violent behaviour.
- Treat ALL staff and students with respect.
The Disciplinary Procedures for Students contain examples types of behaviour that is contrary to the Code of Conduct and that may constitute Gross Misconduct. If Gross Misconduct is proved, it can lead to exclusion or a final written warning. Examples of Gross Misconduct include:
- Sexual harassment (which the recipient finds offensive and threatening) or bullying.
- Racial abuse, racial harassment or victimisation of any sort.
- Abuse, harassment or victimisation of any sort in relation to a person’s sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or belief.
2. What to do if you believe that you have been discriminated against, harassed or victimised by
- a member of staff;
- a volunteer working at the College, or
- someone from one of our partner organisations, such as a member of staff at a work placement.
You should tell a trusted member of staff such as your tutor or Personal Adviser about what is happening, so that they can take action. If the situation cannot be easily resolved, or you would like to make a formal complaint, the Customer Complaints procedure should be used.
The College has published general advice for students on bullying:
Bullying - Our View
At Central Sussex College, we want a safe, secure and welcoming environment in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect. All members of the College, including learners themselves, have a responsibility to recognise bullying and to take action when they are aware of it happening.
What to do
- Tell a parent, a friend or a trusted member of staff such as your Personal Adviser
- Act promptly before the situation gets worse
- Be assertive
- Tell the bully he/she is annoying you and you want it to stop
- Avoid situations that may lead to bullying
- Control any fear you may have
- Look at your own behaviour and see if it is contributing to the problem in any way
What not to do
- Argue with the bully
- Act with aggression or retaliate in any way
- Ignore the bullying
- Keep it to yourself