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Protection of Minors on Campus

Approved 8-17-2020

Purpose and Scope

In order to promote the safety and general welfare of all minors participating in programs at the university, it is the policy of Drury University that all minors participating in programs must be reasonably and appropriately supervised by an Authorized Adult who complies with the Behavioral Expectations provided in this policy.

This policy establishes requirements for those in the university community who may work or interact with individuals under eighteen (18) years of age, with the goal of providing appropriate supervision of minors who are participating in activities and programs taking place on Drury University property, in university owned or managed facilities, and under the authority and direction of the university in other locations.

This policy applies broadly to interactions between minors and university students, faculty, staff, and volunteers in university-run or –affiliated programs or activities.  Athletic camps, academic camps, music camps, laboratories and workshops intended for elementary, middle and high school students and similar activities operated by Drury University will fall within the scope of this policy.  This policy applies to such programs and activities whether they are limited to daily activities or also involve the housing of minors in residence halls.

This policy provides requires immediate reporting of any instances of known or suspected sexual abuse or other abuse or neglect of minors to law enforcement and to the University’s Office of Safety & Security regardless of whether or not the university is implicated and regardless of whether or not the alleged victim wants to participate in the investigation, as set forth more fully herein.

Definitions

Abuse: Any physical injury, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse inflicted on a person under the age of 18 other than by accidental means.  Reasonable discipline is excluded from this definition.  See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 210.110(1).

Adult:  A person age 18 years or older.

Authorized Adult:  Any adult (1) who has passed a background check and received adequate training in order to work in a Program, as contemplated by this policy, and (2) who is responsible for either escorting or supervising minors while on campus or while participating in any Programs.  An Authorized Adult may also be a minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Campus:  All buildings, facilities, and properties that are owned, operated, managed, or controlled by the university.

Key Students:  Students in practicum, student teachers, resident assistants, and summer camp workers, whether they are employed or volunteers.

Minor:  A person under the age of 18.

Neglect: Failure to provide, by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of a person under the age of 18, the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child’s well-being. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 210.110(12).

Program:  Includes, but is not limited to, a planned and/or regular event that includes minors such as a camp, laboratory experience or internship, club, workshop, project, lesson, team, practice, or tour, that takes place on Drury University property, in University owned or managed facilities, and/or under the authority and direction of the University in other locations.  Student teaching, practicum assignments, and internships are not considered to be Programs under this policy and will be governed by the policies of the host site. 

Program Director:  The individual who manages or coordinates the Program.

Program Liaison: The individual who serves as a liaison between the University and Program Directors/Programs that are not owned by Drury University.

Sexual Abuse refers to two broad types of sexual misconduct by employees and others who are affiliated with an institution but are not students.  Specifically, for purposes of this policy, sexual abuse means (1) child molestation or (2) serial sexual misconduct.  Child molestation means any actual or alleged illegal or otherwise wrongful sexual conduct with a minor.  Serial sexual misconduct means any actual or alleged illegal or otherwise wrongful sexual conduct (1) with more than one victim and (2) committed by, or alleged to have been committed by, faculty, staff or volunteers affiliated with an institution.  

Student:  Individuals who are enrolled as regular students, either on a full-time or part-time basis, regardless of whether not the student is a degree-seeking student.  “Student” does not refer to dual-credit or dual-enrollment students herein unless specifically referenced.

Policy Requirements

Minor Students

While most Drury University students will be adults, there may be a limited number of qualified students who begin their coursework while still a minor.  The enrollment of those students should be subject to the following limitations:

  • Admission: Minor students who will be less than the age of sixteen (16) will not be admitted without parental consent and written permission of the Dean of Students and Provost.
  • Residential: Minor students may not live in campus housing without parental consent and written permission of the Dean of Students.
  • Student Employment: Student employment of minor students must be in compliance with all state, federal and local laws, and rules and guidelines of the Department of Human Resources.
  • Student Organizations and Extracurricular: Campus organizations, especially those affiliated with national organizations, may have specific policies requiring members to be a minimum age. In addition to complying with all such reasonable policies of specific organizations, minor students may only join student organizations with parental consent and written permission of the Dean of Students
  • Overnight Travel: Minor students may not participate in overnight travel without parental consent and written permission of the Dean of Students and the Provost.
  • International Travel: Minor students may not participate in international travel without parental consent and the written permission of the Dean of Students and the Provost.
  • Course enrollment: The advisement and enrollment of minor students in academic coursework should be mindful of the age of the student, especially regarding courses that could expose them to graphic or sensitive subjects.

Registration of Programs

The Program Director must register the program with the Office of Safety and Security in sufficient time to meet the applicable portions of this policy. Information provided shall include, at a minimum:

  • Name of the Program Director
  • The name and contact information for persons representing third parties who will be offering the Program, if applicable
  • The dates and locations where minors will be participating
  • The general nature of the activities to be undertaken or offered in the Program, and
  • The names of all adults who will be participating directly with minors in the Program

Programs using university facilities, such as housing or dining services may be required to execute appropriate contracts.

Background Checks

The Program Director is responsible for ensuring that Program staff, paid or unpaid, including but not limited to faculty, staff, key students, and volunteers who work directly with minors have successfully completed a background check acceptable to the Office of Human Resources, and clearance after a review of the Missouri Sex Offender Registry at least once every two (2) years thereafter.  The background check must be conducted and the results evaluated prior to the Adult beginning to work with, instruct, or otherwise engage with minors.

The university may accept successful documented background clearances which have been conducted on the participating Adult by other employers or entities as long as such reports have been completed within two (2) years from the start date of the Program.

A decision not to permit an individual to participate in a Program covered by this policy based on the results of a background report will be made by the Director of Human Resources after consultation with the appropriate Vice-President and university counsel, or other as needed.  Drury reserves the right to take appropriate action with respect to employees who may have falsified or failed to disclose information material to their employment on employment applications uncovered as a result of the background check, including and up to immediate termination of employment.  Copies of background check reports will be retained separately from an individual’s personnel or student file in the Office of Human Resources.

Required Training

All Program staff and volunteers working with minors are required to complete training provided by the University regarding appropriate supervision and protection of minors before beginning their work with minors.

Behavioral Expectations

Sexual abuse of minors by adults is strictly prohibited. All members of the Drury University community, regardless of their role, tenure, compensation or position (including but not limited to Program staff and volunteers) are expected to be positive role models in their interactions with minors by behaving in a caring, honest, respectful, and responsible manner and 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 or in the presence of minors.
  • Do not engage or allow minors to engage you in conversations regarding romantic, sexual, or related matters, unless required in your professional capacity, such as resident advisor, mental health counselor, or health care provider.
  • 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 others from harm, all incidents must be documented and disclosed to the Program Director and the minor’s parent/legal 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. Do not provide or in any way facilitate a minor’s access to alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs, pornography, or gambling.
  • Do not contact minors outside of regular program activities, including through social media, without the express permission of the minor’s parent or guardian.
  • Possession of or use of any weapon or explosive device is prohibited.
  • Do not touch minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate.
  • Do not have one-on-one contact with a minor outside the presence of others or behind closed doors. If one-on-one interaction is required, meet in open, well lit rooms or spaces with windows observable by other adults in the program.
  • Do not shower, bathe, or undress with or in the presence of minors.
  • Do not allow or assist in any way a minor in gaining access or allowing viewing or access to pornography.
  • Do not engage in intimate displays of affection towards others in the presence of minors.
  • Do not take any photographs or videos of minors or post photographs or videos on a digital, electronic, hosted media, web-based service or any other medium without first obtaining a release to do so from the minor’s parent or legal guardian.
  • 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.

Report of Alleged or Suspected Abuse or Inappropriate Activity

Every member of the university community, including employees and volunteers, have an obligation to immediately report instances or suspected instances of child abuse or neglect, or other inappropriate interactions with minors.

There are two types of reports, one external and one internal, which may have to be made under the circumstances:

  1. External Report:

    University community members who have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect or observes a child being subject to conditions or circumstances which would reasonably result in abuse or neglect must immediately make a report to the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services (http://dss.mo.gov/cd/rptcan.htm or 800-392-3738).  Those making good faith external reports of child abuse or neglect will be protected from criminal and civil liability for making the report.

  2. Internal Report:

    Instances or suspected instances of child abuse or neglect must also be reported to the Drury University Safety & Security, (417) 873-7400 or (417) 873-7911. In addition, an internal report should be made if a university community member witnesses other inappropriate interactions with minors even if the conduct does not rise to the level of child abuse or neglect.

    The Director of Safety and Security will inform the Chief Human Resources Officer and the Dean of Students when an internal report under this policy has been made. The Director of Safety and Security will follow all mandated reported as required by Missouri law, and notify law enforcement if they believe a crime has been committed. The Chief Human Resources Officer will ensure that the matter is reported to the university insurer. The Chief Human Resources Officer will then take appropriate action as required by the circumstances. No internal sanctions or other adverse action will be taken against a person making a good faith internal report under this policy.

Anonymous reports may be made to https://www.drury.edu/security/confidential-web-tip-information-system.

Enforcement

Disciplinary measures for violations of this policy, including for failure to abide by reporting obligations,  will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the violation, but may include the full range of available measures applicable to the individual, up to and including suspension, expulsion, termination of employment for employees as set forth in the Staff Policy Handbook and Faculty Handbook; disciplinary action for students up to and including expulsion as set forth in the  Community Standards; and termination of volunteer position for volunteers.   Employees, students, volunteers and others may also be banned from campus.  The university may also take necessary interim actions before determining whether a violation has occurred.  The university may terminate relationships or take other appropriate actions against non-university entities that violate this policy.

Questions about the interpretation or application of this policy may be raised with the Office of Human Resources, which shall update or modify as necessary and administer and oversee the implementation of the policy in a manner that best achieves its goals.  The policy may be modified with the approval of the university president to reflect changes in the law, standards relating to the protection of minors, or university processes, or as otherwise necessary.

The obligations under this Policy are intended to be in addition to obligations that employees may have under other University policies, and are not intended to relieve employees of responsibilities under any other policies.