campus wide alert

Section 3

Minors in Catawba College Programs Policy Training

Section 3: Catawba Behavior  Expectations

Overall Behaviors                                         
Catawba College expects adults to be positive role models  for minors. As a program staff member, you are the eyes and ears of the program  or activity. You can protect children by behaving appropriately and monitoring  the behavior of other program staff members and program participants. As the  program staff member, you should avoid behaviors that could cause harm or be  misinterpreted.


  • Do not engage in any sexual activity  with minors.
  • Do not make sexual comments to minors.
  • Do not tell sexual jokes to minors.
  • Do not share sexually explicit  material with minors (or assist in any way to provide access to such material).


Most sexual abuse incidents happen in one adult and one child situations. If you eliminate one adult and one child situations, you reduce  the risk of abuse.

  • Do not be alone with a single minor.
  • Do not meet with minors outside of  established times for Program activities.

If one-on-one interaction is required, meet in open, well  illuminated spaces or rooms with windows observable by other adults from the program,  unless the one-on-one interaction is expressly authorized by the program  director, dean, department chairperson or is being undertaken by a health care  provider. To meet with a minor outside of established times for program activities,  get written parental authorization. This meeting must include more than one  adult from the program.

Watch For
Watch for older children or adults who take younger children  to secret places or hideaways. Watch for older children or adults who have  younger favorites with whom they want to spend time exclusively. Program  directors should consider ensuring that adults supervise older children serving  younger children. Program directors, other trusted adults, or parents should be  able to observe a program activity at any time.

Your Home
Do not invite individual minors to your home. Any exceptions require authorization by the program director  and written authorization by a parent or guardian.


  • Do not engage or allow minors to  engage you in romantic or sexual conversations or related matters, unless  required in the role of resident advisors, counselors, or health care providers.
  • Do not engage or communicate with  minors through email, text messages, social networking websites, internet chat rooms,  or other forms of social media at any time except and unless there is an  educational or programmatic purpose and the content of the communication is  consistent with the mission of the program and the college.

Touching should generally only be in the open and in  response to the minor's needs, for a purpose that is consistent with the  Program's mission and culture, and/or for a clear educational, developmental, or  health related purpose, such as the treatment of an injury.

Many children are taught that it is not okay to touch any  part that covers where the child wears a bathing suit. These are the private areas.  If you must touch a child, ask if it is okay to touch first. Children have the  permission and power to say "No" to any unwanted or uncomfortable touch. Any  resistance from the minor should be respected.

If restraint is necessary to protect a minor or other minors  from harm, all incidents must be documented and disclosed to the program  director and the minor's parent or guardian.

  • Do not touch minors in a manner that a  reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate.
  • Do not engage in any abusive conduct  of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a minor including but not limited to  verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking, or restraining.

Watch For
Watch for other adults who make children uncomfortable by ignoring  their personal space limits. Beware of adults who want to touch, tickle or  wrestle with a child when the child does not want physical contact or  attention.

Alcohol and Drugs
Do not use, possess or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal  drugs while on duty or when responsible for a minor's welfare.

When transporting minors in a program, more than one adult  from the program must be present in the vehicle, except when multiple minors  will be in the vehicle at all times through the transportation. Avoid using  personal vehicles, if possible.

Do not possess of or use of any type of weapon or explosive  device.

Failure to Comply
Failure to comply with the Catawba policy may lead to  disciplinary action and/or revocation of the opportunity to use college facilities  and land. Therefore, the entire program or activity may be restricted based on  the actions of a single program staff member.

In addition, if you are accused of sexual abuse of a minor,  you will be subject to the appropriate investigations and actions by the  criminal justice and social services systems. These actions are separate and apart  from the college policy and process.

Reporting Potential  Abuse
Remember that child sexual abuse thrives in an environment  where adults are inattentive, in denial, or afraid to take action. We must actively  work to prevent it. We must actively work to create a safe environment for  children. The earlier that abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery  for the child.

Child Self-Reporting
Fewer than one in ten children will report the abuse. Yet,  most of these children carry the emotional scars and guilt of the abuse for the  rest of their lives. A child may tell a trusted adult about sexual abuse. If  you are the adult, your reaction may be key in beginning the healing process  for the child.

  1. Believe the  child. Preteen children rarely make false accusations  about sexual abuse.
  2. Remain calm. Don't panic. Listen. If you respond in a judgmental way, the child  may refuse to tell more.
  3. Ask open-ended  questions,  such as "What happened next?" Don't ask leading questions and don't press for  details.
  4. Thank the child for  having the courage to tell you about the situation.
  5. Tell the child that it is not the child's fault. Remember  that the adult is always responsible for his or her behavior.

Think about situations in which a child may tell you about  abuse, and have response plan in case it happens. That way you can control your  emotional response better and be ready to help the child.       

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