LaGrange College is committed to the safety and protection of minors. Under Georgia State Statute, a minor refers to an individual who under 18.  The purpose of this section is to provide for the protection of minors whose health and welfare are adversely affected and further threatened by the conduct of those responsible for their care and protection. It is intended that the mandatory reporting of such cases will cause the protective services of the state to be brought to bear on the situation in an effort to prevent further abuses, to protect and enhance the welfare of these minors, and to preserve family life wherever possible.

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, volunteers, and students representing LaGrange College who interact with minors.

LaGrange College organizes and runs many programs for pre-college children of various ages, both on and off campus, including recruiting programs, summer camps, school field trips, daycare, and community service projects. These general procedures are meant to help guide those involved with LaGrange College pre-college programs in cases where the program does not have its own program-specific procedures in place.

Two Adult Rule – Avoid situations in which you are alone with a minor. When it is necessary to speak privately with a minor, find a place within sight of others for your conference. This includes not transporting minors alone in your car.

Privacy – The privacy of minors in situations such as toileting, showering and changing clothes should be respected. When it is necessary to supervise minors in these situations, at least two adults should be present and intrude only to the extent that the health and safety of the minors require. Adults should preserve their own privacy in these situations as well.

Mentoring – Mentoring programs that involve private instruction (tutoring, laboratory, music instruction, etc.) when there is only one adult present must take place in a room or other space that is in full view from outside the room when the door is closed. A window opening must exist and allow full view into the room. Minors should never be taken to a private residence.

Hugging – When hugging is appropriate, hug from the side over the shoulders, not from the front. Always avoid touching areas that are normally covered by swimming suits

Overnight – When supervising overnight activities, adults should not share sleeping quarters with minors. Male and female minors should not sleep in the same room.

Constructive Discipline – Discipline used should be constructive, not humiliating or isolating. Do not use corporal punishment in any form – never spank, slap, hit, etc.

Cameras – While most of us use cameras and other imaging devices responsibly, it is very easy to invade the privacy of individuals. It is inappropriate to use any device capable of recording and transmitting visual images in shower areas, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants.

Hazing Prohibited – Hazing initiations are prohibited and may not be included as part of any activity.

Bullying Prohibited – Verbal, physical, and cyber bullying are prohibited.

Report! – You must report incidents involving sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor immediately; please refer to reporting information at the end of the policy.

 

STATEMENT OF ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE POLICY (INTERACTING WITH MINORS)

I WILL:

  • I promise to strictly follow the rules and guidelines in this policy while interacting with minors
  • who participate in LaGrange College programs.
  • I understand that as a person who interacts with minors under the auspices of LaGrange
  • College, I may be required to undergo a criminal history background check with results acceptable to Lagrange College. 
  • I understand that if I am currently enrolled as a student at the College, I hereby consent to have
  • my disciplinary case history reviewed with results acceptable to LaGrange College and the program director.
  • Unless my paid or volunteer position requires otherwise, I will never to be alone with a minor
  • (or minors) at College activities without notifying another adult and asking the adult for assistance.
  • If I am alone with a minor, I will utilize buddy systems and pursue safety in numbers when
  • another adult is not available to help, e.g. a child who needs to be excused during a group activity will be accompanied by another child of the same sex.
  • I will maintain appropriate physical boundaries at all times.   I will touch children only when
  • necessary in ways that are appropriate, public, and non-sexual.
  • I will treat everyone with respect, loyalty, patience, integrity, courtesy and dignity.
  • I will use positive reinforcement rather than criticism or comparison when working with minors.

 

I WILL NOT:

  • I will not touch or speak to a minor (or minors) in a sexual or other inappropriate manner.
  • I will not inflict any physical or emotional abuse such as striking, humiliating, ridiculing, or degrading minors.
  • I will not use, possess, or be under the influence of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs at any time
  • while working with minors.
  • I will not provide transportation to a minor (or minors) unless doing so is an acknowledged component of a program.
  • I will not accept or give gifts to minors without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.
  • I will not engage in private communications with minors via text messaging, email, Facebook,
  • Twitter or the like except for activities strictly involving LaGrange College business.
  • I will not use profanity in the presence of children and/or youth at any time.

 

Reporting of Possible Abuse of a Minor: 

Please call the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) Child Protective Center at: 1-855-422-4453. Reports are taken 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have an immediate emergency, please call 911 or your local police department.

Also share the details of your report to LaGrange College’s Dean of Students at 706-880-8976.

To learn more about DFCS, please visit their website.