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.