Last modified: Monday, May 7, 2012
Indiana University adopts policy for programs that involve children
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University has adopted a policy on programs involving children, instituting steps designed to increase the safety and protection of children who take part in university-sponsored programs and in activities on IU campuses.
The policy, which results from a review of procedures and practices by legal, planning and public safety staff, lists measures that will be taken to promote the protection of children who are engaging in activities at Indiana University.
"Many children take part in Indiana University programs and activities on IU campuses, and their safety must be our highest priority," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "This policy adds procedures intended to promote a culture of caution and safety, while providing flexibility for the continued operation of a wide variety of programs."
"This is an important step in ensuring that the university's written policies align with its values and practices, including compliance with the law," said John Applegate, executive vice president for university regional affairs, planning and policy.
The complete policy is available online. Key elements include:
- All faculty and academic employees, staff, students and volunteers will comply with Indiana law, which requires anyone who suspects an incident of child abuse or neglect to contact the state Child Protective Services department or local law enforcement. Also, IU personnel must report suspected abuse of minors to the IU director of public safety, who will notify CPS.
- Faculty, staff, students, volunteers and other personnel who work with children must have undergone criminal background checks and sex offender registry checks within the past three years. The checks must be repeated at least once every three years.
- IU units must maintain up-to-date lists of all programs they sponsor that involve children, including locations and contact information. Programs involving children will register their information with the university director of public safety using an online form.
- Programs that involve children must have policies addressing aspects of child safety, such as transportation, weather emergencies, supervision and training. Programs that involve overnight stays or use of university residences by children must have additional policies in place to ensure safety.
The policy governs programs sponsored by all Indiana University units as well as programs run by external organizations using IU facilities. They include any ongoing or planned programs and events that are designed to include children, such as camps, lessons, workshops, clubs, teams, practices, tours and open houses.
Regularly scheduled IU classes or activities designed primarily for enrolled IU students 17 and older are not covered by this policy. However, the state law that requires reporting of suspected child abuse or neglect applies to anyone younger than 18, whether a student or not.
While background checks are generally required for volunteers, the policy provides an alternative for large, one- or two-day events that rely on large numbers of volunteers. Subject to approval by the university director of public safety, such events may register volunteers in advance, check names against the sex offender registry and require photo IDs from volunteers at the event.
The policy was developed by the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Regional Affairs, Planning and Policy and will be administered by University Director of Public Safety Jerry Minger. Violations may result in sanctions, including the cancellation of programs and disciplinary actions for individuals. Suspected violations of law will be referred to law enforcement and may result in prosecution.