Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Guidelines

Main content start

When working with minors, follow these guidelines to ensure you're consistent with the university's policies, mission, and values.

Categories

Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior with Minors

Adults should be positive role models for minors, and act in a caring, honest, respectful and responsible manner that is consistent with the mission and guiding principles of the university. Adults working with minors must follow these expectations to avoid behaviors that could cause harm or be misinterpreted:

  • Do not engage in any sexual activity, make sexual comments, tell sexual jokes, or share sexually explicit material (or assist in any way to provide access to such material) with minors.
  • Do not be alone with a single minor unless it is essential to the activities of the program or activity (e.g, private music lessons). If one-on-one interaction is required, whenever possible meet in open, well-illuminated spaces or rooms with windows observable by other adults from the program or activity. Do not meet with minors outside of established times for the program or activity. Any exceptions require written parental authorization and must include more than one adult from the program or activity.
  • Do not invite individual minors to your home. Any exceptions require authorization by the Program Sponsor and written authorization by the minor’s parent/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 or when using any Stanford communications or video conferencing tools 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 or activity and the university. When communicating electronically, you must copy another Program Staff member or the minor's parent/guardian.
  • Do not touch minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate. Touching should generally only be in the open and in response to the minor's needs (e.g., treatment of an injury).
  • Do not shower, bathe, or undress with or in the presence of a minor.
  • 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. If restraint is necessary to protect a minor or other minors from harm, all incidents must be documented in writing and disclosed to the Program Sponsor or the Third Party Program Director and the minor's parent/guardian.
  • 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.
  • Except in an emergency, do not transport a minor alone in any vehicle. Avoid using personal vehicles if possible. No adult who has been convicted of a DUI or other driving offense within the past 5 years, other than minor traffic violations, and no person under the age of 18, may transport minors in a program or activity.
  • Possession of or use of any type of weapon or explosive device is prohibited.
  • Do not tell a minor “this is just between the two of us,” or use similar language that encourages minors to keep secrets from their parent/guardian.

Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior with Minors PDF

Return to categories list


Guidelines for Online Minors Programs

  • Adults should be positive role models for minors, and act in a caring, honest, respectful and responsible manner that is consistent with the mission and guiding principles of the university. The risks and challenges associated with working with minors in-person are also present when working with minors online.  Adults working with minors online must follow these expectations to avoid behaviors that could cause harm or be misinterpreted:

  • Do not have one-on-one interactions with minors. There must be at least one other adult or minor participating in any virtual programming.
  • Do not engage or communicate with minors through email or text messages, social networking websites, internet chat rooms, or other forms of social media or when using any Stanford communications or video conferencing tools 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 or activity and the university. When communicating electronically, you must copy another Program Staff member or the minor’s parent/guardian.
  • Do not wear unprofessional or inappropriate attire when interacting with minors online.
  • Do not display an unprofessional or inappropriate background when interacting with minors online, such as inappropriate images or words on the wall or on the virtual background.
  • Do not meet with minors in person unless the in-person meeting was a part of the program curriculum approved by the Program Sponsor. Any exceptions require authorization by the Program Sponsor and written authorization by the minor’s parent/guardian. The meeting must include more than one adult from the program or activity.
  • Do not allow unsupervised interactions between minors during the virtual programming, such as in breakout rooms. Immediately stop cyberbullying or any disrespectful comments or inappropriate images.
  • Do not engage in any sexual activity, make sexual comments, tell sexual jokes, or share sexually explicit material (or assist in any way to provide access to such material) with minors.
  • 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 use, possess or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while interacting with minors online.
  • Do not tell a minor “this is just between the two of us,” or use similar language that encourages minors to keep secrets from their parent/guardian.

Online Programming Best Practices

  • Virtual interactions that take place between minors during the course of the program, such as in breakout rooms, must be supervised by Program Staff.
  • Recording virtual interactions, such as class instruction and office hours, may allow the minor and parents/guardians to review the instructional materials at a later time.  If your program or activity intends to record any virtual interactions, please ensure that minors and parents/guardians are notified in advance, and that an Assumption of Risk, Release of Claims and Hold Harmless Agreement has been signed.
  • Make sure the virtual meeting is set to private and that individuals who have not been invited to the meeting cannot enter the virtual space.  Avoid posting any meeting links on public sites. Any meeting should have a password that is only sent to participants.
  • Ensure that comments or chat features are limited to participants and that personal contact information is not being shared.
  • Consider updating your program or activity’s code of conduct, if applicable, to address appropriate online etiquette and cyberbullying.

Reporting

Immediately report instances or suspected instances of abuse or inappropriate interactions with minors to the Program Sponsor and University Human Resources (UHR) at (650) 721-4272 or protectminors@stanford.edu.  UHR can provide guidance on any additional reporting obligations.

Guidelines for Online Minors Programs PDF

Return to categories list


Guidelines for Locker/Shower Facilities

  • Note: Some locker/shower facilities do not permit access by minors. For all other facilities, the following guidelines apply.

  • All minors below age 14 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Minors age 6 years and older are required to use the same gender locker/shower facilities.
  • If a minor is accompanied by Program Staff, Program Staff should ensure that at least one other adult or minor is present.
  • When minors are present, all individuals should disrobe and dress discreetly and remain covered when using the common areas of the locker/shower facilities.
  • Do not use cell phones or other equipment to take photos in locker/shower facilities

Guidelines for Locker/Shower Facilities PDF

Return to categories list


Minors in Labs

While all programs and activities involving minors are expected to complete the policy requirements specified in Administrative Guide Memo 1.8.1: Protection of Minors, there are additional requirements that must be satisfied when minors will be working in labs at Stanford. These apply to formal internship programs as well as individual internships involving minors in labs. These requirements are detailed in the Office of Science Outreach website under Faculty Resources. Please also view Health & Safety Requirements for Minors in Laboratories at Stanford University.

Additional requirements for all programs or activities, including internships, where minors will be working in labs:

  1. Complete the “Guidelines & Checklist for Hosting Minors in Labs” found on the Office of Science Outreach’s website under Faculty Resources.
  2. Review and adhere to Environmental Health & Safety’s (EH&S) Health & Safety Requirements for Minors in Laboratories at Stanford University.
  3. Program Sponsors must ensure that minors complete required online and lab specific safety training. Contact EH&S at (650) 723-0448 for guidance on appropriate trainings and/or consult the Training Needs Assessment tool in STARS.
  4. Consultations or approvals from EH&S and/or medical surveillance/clearance may also be required depending on the type of work proposed. Contact EH&S Laboratory Safety Program at (650) 723-0448 for guidance.

Return to categories list