Protecting Minors on Campus
Purpose and Scope of the Policy
Vanderbilt University is dedicated to the welfare and safety of all Minors who visit the Vanderbilt campus to participate in Vanderbilt related programs, athletic and youth organizations and any other event involving minors on the Vanderbilt campus that are hosted by the Vanderbilt Office of Conferences.
The Vanderbilt Office of Conferences works closely with the Vanderbilt Office of Risk Management and Insurance to ensure that all of our Conference Organizers, as well as all participants comply with all the requirements as stated in the Vanderbilt Protection of Minors Policy.
Copy of Vanderbilt University – Protecting Minors on Campus Policy Minors Policy- Risk management
If your event and/or activity will include minors that are not supervised by parents/legal guardians while in Vanderbilt Facilities and on Grounds, the following steps are required:
A. Program Registration
The Program Director shall register the Program with the Office of Conferences, who in turn will send the completed registration forms with sufficient advance notice to meet the requirements and intentions of this policy to the Office of Risk and Insurance Management in behalf of the Organization.
Please click on the link below for a copy of the Program Registration form Office of Risk and Insurance Management – VU Conferences
B. List of Individual Staff Members Participating in the Program on the Vanderbilt Campus
To comply with the Vanderbilt University Protecting Minors on Campus Policy, as a legal agent of the Organization, the organizer will complete and submit a document indicating the names of individual staff that will be participating in the program on the Vanderbilt campus. The list of names will be sent to Vanderbilt HR to undergo a criminal background check at the cost of $29.50 per staff member. The background checks will be kept on file at Vanderbilt.Staff List for Background Checks
C. Execute Written Agreement(s)
All third party organizations applying to
use VU facilities to host activities involving minors under this section will
provide evidence of general liability insurance coverage in an amount
satisfactory to Vanderbilt as required in contract agreements and shall name
Vanderbilt as additional insured on the policy for the duration of the event,
program, or activity occurring on Vanderbilt property. Liability for incidents
that may occur as a result of the Organization’s activities falls on the
Organization only, and does not extend to Vanderbilt University. Liability
Waiver agreements between the program participant’s parent/guardian and the
Organization shall plainly state that participation in the third party
Organization’s program or activity is neither endorsed nor sponsored by VU.
Please click on the link below for a copy of the Summer Registration Application 2014 Permission & Release
D. Criminal Background Checks
Criminal background checks are required of each adult, to be completed and affirmative confirmation is cleared to work prior to his or her interaction or participation with Minors in Programs covered by this policy. This includes but is not limited to third party or non-Vanderbilt personnel who work with, instruct, or otherwise engage with Minors on the Vanderbilt campus, as well as Vanderbilt administrators, faculty, staff, students, and volunteers who work with, instruct, or otherwise engage with Minors.
It is the responsibility of the Program Director or designee of the Program to ensure that each participating adult has submitted the background request information and has subsequently received clearance to participate. The Office of Risk Management and Insurance will maintain a database of individuals who have been cleared to participate.
Third Party Organizations contracting with the University shall affirm by submission of cleared dates, that all personnel have been cleared by a criminal background check within the last 12 months and that the results and method are sufficient to meet University standards. Those personnel that do not meet this requirement will not be permitted to work, volunteer, or engage in the activity on campus.
E. Mandatory Training on the Prevention and Recognition of Child Abuse is Now Required
Each adult who will be participating with Minors on the Vanderbilt campus is required to take the United Educators online course Sexual Misconduct: How Teachers and Other Educators Can Protect Our Children (or submit evidence of completion approved child abuse prevention training course.) This hour long training course can be accessed at https://elearning.ue.org/. Once you log on to the site enter our institutional registration code: 1784-UN37-XY12. Once the online course has been completed, the trainee will be required to print out the Certificate of Achievement verifying completion of the class and submit a copy of the certificate to the Organization’s Program Coordinator. The Program Coordinator will add training completion dates of each personnel participating in the Organization’s activities.The training module shall include but is not limited to: Vanderbilt University’s policies regarding interactions with Minors, behavioral signs that Minor victims may exhibit, sexual abuse and sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior with Minors, reporting requirements and procedures, and other topics as appropriate.
F. Code of Conduct for Interacting with Minors on the Vanderbilt Campus
We all have a duty to the Minors with whom we interact with, to the state of Tennessee, to Vanderbilt University, and to yourself to report any abuse or improper behavior. You also have an obligation to act in good faith and rely on sound judgment, which includes abiding by a proper code of conduct when interacting with Minors.
Authorized Adults shall read and sign a Code of Conduct that includes prohibitions against Authorized Adults:
- Minors must be visually supervised at all times by an Authorized Adult while on campus. Minors must be escorted by an adult at ALL times.
- Having one-on-one contact with Minors outside the presence of others. It is expected that activities where Minors are present will involve two or more Authorized Adults.
- Participating in a sleepover under the auspices of the Program, unless (1) one of the Minor’s parents or legal guardians is present or (2) one of the Minor’s parents or legal guardians has given consent and there is at least one other Authorized Adult present at all times.
- Sharing a bed or sleeping bag with a Minor.
- Being alone with a Minor in the Authorized Adult’s living quarters.
- Showering, bathing, or undressing with or in the presence of Minors.
- Engaging in abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Minor.
- Striking, hitting, administering corporal punishment to, or touching in an inappropriate or illegal manner any Minor.
- Use of an Authorized Adult’s personal vehicle to pick up or drop off Minors participating in the Program unless the parent or legal guardian of the Minor has provided written permission.
10. Engaging in the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during Programs.
11. Making pornography in any form available to Minors participating in the Programs covered by this Policy or assisting them in any way in gaining access or allowing access to pornography.
12. Engaging in intimate displays of affection towards others in the presence of Minors parents/guardians, and other Authorized Adults.
13.Taking any photographs or videos of Minors or posting photographs or videos on a digital, electronic, hosted media, web-based service or any other medium without first obtaining a release in this regard from the Minor’s parent or legal guardian.
14. Failing to report abuse, harassment or exploitation of Minors by other Minors participating in the Program.
G. Reporting Requirements
Every member of the University community and their guests (not limited to individuals who interact with minors) has an obligation to report known or suspected instances of the abuse of, neglect of or inappropriate interactions with minors. Members making a report in good faith will be protected from criminal and civil liability for making the report. It is important to understand that every member is required to report any type of suspected abuse, neglect or inadequate care rather than just child sexual abuse.
Two reports, one external and one internal, must be made:
Tennessee law instructs every member to make a report when they suspect sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor. Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor. The required report may be made to the State of Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline at l-877-237-0004, online at https://reportabuse.state.tn.us/ or to a Tennessee sheriff’s office or police department, including VUPD at 615-322-2745. If the situation is a life threatening emergency, contact 911.
Every member of the University community has a further obligation to report known or suspected abuse or neglect of a Minor on campus or in a Vanderbilt program immediately to Vanderbilt University. The preferred method is to immediately contact the Director of Minors Programs in the Office of Risk Management and Insurance at 615.936.0660. Alternatively, known or suspected abuse or neglect of a Minor on campus or in a Vanderbilt program shall be reported to the University and Medical Center hotline at 1-866-783-2287 or website at https://www.tnwgrc.com/Vanderbilt.
The employee or affiliate should report the abuse to their supervisor, as well as call the Department of Children’s Services at 877.237.0004. It is the responsibility of the person suspecting the abuse to make the report, not their supervisor. After reporting the abuse, the faculty/staff member should ask the Department of Children’s Services for written confirmation of the report to be delivered to the reporting employee or affiliate. The employee/affiliate should then provide a copy of this report to their immediate supervisor.
A report is required when:
- A person has knowledge that a child has been harmed by abuse or neglect.
- A person is called upon to render aid to any child who is suffering from an injury that reasonably appears to have been caused by abuse.
- A person knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been sexually abused. (Citation: Ann. Code §§ 37-1-403; 37-1-605)
Abuse should be reported to: The Department of Children’s Services (877.237.0004), either by contacting a local representative of the department, the judge having juvenile jurisdiction over the child, the sheriff of the county where the child resides, or the chief law enforcement official of the municipality where the child resides. (Citation: Ann. Code §§ 37-1-403; 37-1-605)
Criminal Consequences for not reporting: In Tennessee you can be fined up to $2500 for failure to report.
H. List of Compliant Staff Members in the Organization
To comply with the Vanderbilt University Protecting Minors on Campus Policy, as a legal agent of the Organization, the organizer will complete a document indicating the names of and certify that ALL the listed staff members, coaches, Vanderbilt students, outside contractors, volunteers and/or chaperones working with the Organization on the Vanderbilt campus are in compliance with this policy and have undergone a recent criminal background check, have taken the online training course, have submitted a copy of their Certificate of Achievement, and have read and agree to follow Vanderbilt University’s Protecting Minors on campus policies and procedures. The sign document will be sent to the Vanderbilt Office of Risk Management and insurance and must be received three weeks prior to arrival in campus.
Document to be completed by the Program Director Protecting Minors 11-1