Merrifield College Disciplinary Code and School Rules – 2016

1. INTRODUCTION

Merrifield believes that the foundation of discipline is respect.
The school fully supports the principles of fair discipline and the consistent application of appropriate disciplinary measures where necessary. This procedure and code for students indicates the broad standards of behaviour that are expected of all students at the school, and encourages a responsible and self-disciplined approach by students themselves.

It is the objective at Merrifield to preserve high morals and to maintain a standard of conduct that is acceptable to the broad community. This code is intended to build a community that is self-disciplined, hard-working, morally upright and respectful of one another. It defines what is meant by acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and describes the steps which will be taken in the event of any student overstepping these limits. The code will be reviewed and amended as appropriate on an annual basis.

Please note that this school code has been based on & needs to be read in conjunction with the ISASA disciplinary code (generated under legal advice), which serves as a guide in meting out appropriate forms of disciplinary action to cover a range of circumstances & eventualities (copies for perusal may be obtained from reception).

2. GENERAL DISCIPLINARY CODE

In general terms, the following Code of Conduct applies. Students must:

  • Comply with instructions from school officials and with the general rules of the school
  • Behave responsibly and not endanger the safety, welfare and rights of others
  • Respect and care for the property of the school and others. The school will deal severely with a student found in possession of items that are not his or her own.
  • Maintain sound relations with others at school, be courteous and respect the dignity and self-worth of others
  • Be punctual and observe the timekeeping practices of the school
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude towards the opportunity to learn and be diligent in their efforts to learn. Should a student disrupt a class to the extent that teaching and learning is not possible for the rest of the students, the teacher may send the student, who must be accompanied by a responsible student, to one of the Directors or the Headmaster.
  • Behave honestly and conduct themselves with integrity
  • Attend all lessons, assessment tests and examinations
  • Accept legitimate disciplinary action taken against them as being necessary.
  • Report damage to school property at once. If responsible, the student will be expected to pay for the fixing of any damage caused to the school property. Disciplinary action will be a consideration depending on the nature of the damage. Arrangements to pay will be made with the parents/guardians of the student.
  • Not to be at the tuck shop before the breaks begin and after the bell at the end of break or between periods when changing class
  • Not loiter around the toilets.
  • Submit car and motorcycle registration and driver’s licence numbers to the Headmaster’s secretary before they are given permission to drive on school property. Student cars and motorcycles must be parked in the designated areas only. No unlicenced driving and driving of unregistered vehicles or motorcycles will be allowed on school property.

3. UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR

The following behaviours are regarded as unacceptable:

  • Copying of work
  • Cheating
  • Inappropriate public displays of affection
  • Plagiarism
  • Bullying and intimidation
  • Being in possession of pornographic material
  • Chewing gum
  • Classroom code infringements
  • Class disruption – disrupting the process of teaching and learning.
  • Inappropriate language
  • Dishonesty
  • Disobedience
  • Graffiti
  • Homework not completed or assignments not completed on time
  • Inappropriate use of electronic, audio or visual material
  • Incorrect uniform
  • Insolence
  • Late arrival for school activities
  • Littering
  • Non-attendance of meetings/extra-curricular activities
  • Vandalism – damaging or destroying Merrifield or private property
  • Possession of dangerous weapons of any kind
  • Insulting, humiliating, disrespectful or provocative statements or actions
  • Physical violence or the threat of violence or intimidation
  • Sexual assault or harassment of any kind
  • Theft
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol at school, at school-related activities, in uniform
  • Possession or use of illegal drugs at school, at school-related activities, in uniform
  • Smoking at school, at school-related activities, in uniform
  • Any other form of conduct that may bring dishonour to the school

4. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

Students who contravene the Disciplinary Code will be subject to the following measures:

4.1. The Demerit System

i. Demerits may be handed out for a variety of unacceptable forms of behaviour listed above. (see the attached demerit slip for the allocation of demerits)
ii. Demerits are filled in by staff members on the Demerit slips and sent to the secretary, who will collect and collate them. Demerits will be noted on each student’s personal record.
iii. Once a student reaches 10 Demerits, he/she will be placed on detention.
iv. Depending on the nature and severity of the offence, Demerits may be handed out on a number of 1 to 10 – 10 Demerits resulting in instant detention, which can be meted out for a single offence if sufficiently serious in nature. Staff will be guided by the demerits values list in allocating Demerits.
v. Once a student reaches 40 Demerits, having served six detentions, one or more of the following will transpire:
-Parents / Guardians will be called in for a meeting with the school Head.
-the student will be placed on a Daily Behavioral Report Card.
-Should 80 demerits have been accumulated a disciplinary enquiry may be called with the possibility of suspension or even expulsion for the repeated offences.
vi. All demerits will contribute towards an accumulated yearly total for the pupil. However, demerits that have run for 12 weeks and that do not lead to a detention, will no longer count towards a future detention. Demerits are cancelled at beginning of 3rd term for all students.
vii. Detention will take place on Saturday mornings from 8.30 – 10.30 a.m.

4.2. Disciplinary Enquiry

i. When a serious alleged infringement occurs, or in the case of repeated lesser infringements and the Demerit System not having had the desired effect, a Disciplinary Enquiry will be called.
ii. Severe disciplinary action may result should the student be found guilty of the allegations made against him/her.
iii. Suspension: Following the outcome of a Disciplinary Enquiry, a student may be required to leave the school for a specified period. A student may also be required to leave the school pending the outcome of any proceedings in respect of the student’s misconduct or alleged misconduct.

Expulsion: Following the outcome of a Disciplinary Enquiry in the case of very serious offences, a student may be required to leave the school immediately and permanently. The student may no longer attend lessons at the school.

5. DRESS CODE

– School pride is reflected in the way our uniform is worn.
– Neatness is the primary objective of our dress code.

Uniform:

Boys
Black lace up school shoes
Navy blue socks
Long beige chinos
Standard black belt with plain silver buckle
White short sleeve shirt with Merrifield birds logo on the left chest pocket
Merrifield school tie
Navy Merrifield blazer (tie compulsory with blazer)
V-neck vests may be worn underneath the school shirts. They may not be visible above the shirt buttons

Girls
Black polished school shoes
White short socks or navy stockings (no ankle socks)
Merrifield checked white and blue skirt (minimum length end 5cm above the knee)
White Merrifield short sleeve shirt/blouse
Skirt and shirt need to be an appropriate size. There is to be no gap between the bottom of the shirt and top of the skirt when pupil is seated (writing at desk)
White/beige bras
Navy Merrifield blazer

For Both Boys and Girls
Long sleeve, navy Merrifield school jersey
Long sleeve, white Merrifield school jersey (Grade 12 only)
Navy Merrifield scarf – available at school
Navy Merrifield drimac (in wind and rain only)

Official Merrifield sports kit to be worn at matches and practices :
Boys
Matches:
Navy Merrifield Shirt and shorts
Socks – Soccer and Hockey – long navy socks with 2 white stripes
Tennis, and Squash – Short white socks.
Swimming Costume – Merrifield swimming costume
Practice:
White collared sports shirt and navy shorts.

Girls
Matches:
Cap sleeve shirt and Navy skirts
Socks – Hockey – long navy socks with 2 white stripes
Tennis, Netball and Squash – Short white socks .
Swimming – Merrifield swimming costume.
Practice:
White collared sports shirt with navy blue shorts.

No school or matriculation exam may be written unless learners are properly dressed and groomed in terms of the above clauses.

Students will not be allowed in class if they do not adhere to conditions set for school uniform. Depending on the violation of the school uniform code, the student may be sent home and marked absent for that day.

Hair

Boys
Natural look: limited gel
Natural dyes
Natural = a shade lighter/darker than natural hair colour
Neat – above collar, not covering ears ( not bushy and unkept)
Fringes to be kept out of eyes
Cornrows, medium length (hair may touch the collar & ears, but may not spill over) and short back
and side styles allowed
No hair accessories allowed
Afros, dreadlocks and any extremist hairstyles are not allowed.
Hair may be closely shaven but not clean shaven
No facial hair – clean shaven

Girls
Natural look: limited gel
Natural dyesNatural = a shade lighter/darker than natural hair colour
Fringes to be kept out of the eyes
Neat – If hair touches shoulders it must be tied up
Only navy and white hair accessories allowed
No French manicures allowed.
No nail varnish.

Accessories

No rings/bracelets (except medic alert bracelets) allowed
No jewellery for piercing allowed except earrings for girls
Silver/gold chains/necklaces of religious significance may be worn BUT must be hidden beneath shirts. They may not be visible.
Earrings: Worn by girls only
Only small plain silver/gold studs/sleepers allowed
Only one pair of earrings may be worn, with one stud/sleeper per ear and corresponding positions on both ears.
No make-up allowed – except for a light concealer.
Tattoos: The legal age for tattoos in South Africa is 18 without parent consent, and 16 with parental consent.
No visible tattoos to be exposed.

SCHOOL TOUR DRESS CODE & DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

• Appropriate civvies to be worn on bus. (e.g. jeans& t’shirts)
• School codes for make- up and jewellery apply
• Possession or consumption of alcohol on school tours – not allowed
• Possession or use of illegal drugs on school tours – not allowed
• Smoking at school-related activities, – not allowed
• Use of cell phones during travel and leisure time are at the discretion of the teacher- in-charge.  During sports events – no cellphones to be seen.
• Any other form of conduct that may bring dishonour to the school
• ANY SERIOUS VIOLATION ON TOUR – PARENTS WILL BE CALLED AND REQUESTED TO IMMEDIATELY FETCH THEIR CHILD.
• Please note that the school is not responsible for the loss of cell phones, money & personal belongings on school tour.

6. CELL PHONE AND ELECTRONIC GADGET POLICY

• Electronic gadgets (ipods, MP3 players etc.) are not allowed at school. Flash sticks are allowed.
• Cell phones are allowed at school, but must be switched off and not visible while at school or during school activities.
• Cell phones may not be used during break times, nor between lessons when moving from class to class.
• Transgression of the rule will result in the cell phone (with sim card) or “other gadget” being confiscated for one week for a first-time offender or for an entire term for a second or further offender.
• Inappropriate filming, photographing & recording with cell phones & electronic gadgets will not be tolerated. In particular, inciting & manipulating situations for these inappropriate purposes will be viewed in a most serious light.
• Accessing pornographic material on cell phones & electronic gadgets will be dealt with severely.
• The school will not take any responsibility for the theft of a cell phone or electronic gadget or the investigation thereof, on the school premises.
Students may be allowed to listen to music at teachers discretion – NO EARPHONES TO BE VISIBLE.
• Permission to film, take photo’s or make audio recordings is required from the teacher.