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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Best Practices for Youth Activities

This page should be read in conjunction with the University Youth Activities Guidelines.  If you have any questions, please contact Risk Management at (562) 985-2396 or RiskManagement@csulb.edu.

Chaperon Code of Conduct Form

The University has identified best practices associated with the following topics, and recommends that Departments and Student Organizations supervising activities involving minors adopt the practices or formulate equally rigorous practices better suited to their particular activity. 

  1. Behavioral Expectations for Adults Supervising Minors
  2. Physical Contact with Minors
  3. Disciplining Minors
  4. Supervision of Bathroom Use
  5. Supervision of Locker Room Use
  6. Release of Minors at the Conclusion of an Activity
  7. Non-Program Contact with Minors

Behavioral Expectations for Adults Supervising Minors

Minors will be treated respectfully at all times, regardless of their actions or behavior.

Minors will be treated fairly regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other basis covered by CSULB Campus Regulations.

To minimize bullying and physical abuse from older peers, groups of minors more than two years of age from each other will be kept apart to the maximum extent feasible.

Adults participating in a campus activity involving minors will not do any of the following in the presence of minors:

  • Use profanity
  • Tell off-color jokes or banter suggestively
  • Discuss personal problems or sexual experiences
  • View sexually suggestive materials or make those materials available to minors
  • Comment on other peoples’ bodies
  • Use alcohol or narcotics and/or offer alcohol or narcotics to minors
  • Leer or inappropriately stare at the minor
  • Inappropriate facial and hand gestures

Adults participating in a campus activity involving minors will not permit any of the following interactions between minors:

  • Bullying
  • Hazing
  • Horseplay
  • Derogatory name-calling
  • Ridicule or humiliation
  • Truth or Dare and/or similar games
  • Sexual touching

Physical Contact with Minors

The University understands that physical contact between non-related adults and minors can be essential to the minor’s well-being and self-esteem.  The following types of contact may be permitted:

  • Handshakes
  • High-fives and hand slapping
  • Pats on the shoulder or back
  • Side hugs
  • Feeding and grooming of babies and toddlers (including diaper changes)
  • Holding hands while escorting children below the age of 8
  • Other brief contact intended to comfort distressed children below the age of 12, so long as another adult is witnessing it
  • Teaching a physical technique that literally requires hands-on instruction, such as fingering on a musical instrument or positioning for an athletic activity, so long as it is conducted either in the open or in an interior space with (1) doors and windows open and (2) a building open to the public at the time of the touching
  • Assisting disabled minors who need assistance with a major life function, as long as at least one other person is present and observing
  • Any contact to aid an injured minor or a minor in imminent danger of physical harm (such as a struggling swimmer)
  • Separating minors involved in an altercation

The following are types of contact that should not be permitted:

  • Frontal hugs
  • Kisses
  • Lap sitting
  • Massages or rubs
  • Piggyback rides
  • Tickling
  • Touches on the buttocks, chest, or groin (except when changing diapers)
  • Wrestling
  • Any intended affection, unwanted by the minor
  • Any touching conducted in private (i.e. no other adults or children present)

Disciplining Minors

No adult associated with a campus activity involving minors should ever use physical punishment to manage a minor’s behavior.  This prohibition should extend to, but not be limited to: spanking, slapping, shaking, pinching, or hitting.

Supervision of Bathroom Use

Adults should use staff-only bathrooms.  If no staff-only bathrooms are available, adults should use bathrooms when no minors are present.  If adults must use a bathroom when a minor is present, the adult needs to follow the rule of three, i.e. at least one other adult or minor should also be present.

For minors ages 12 and under, adults should escort two or more minors to the bathroom for group bathroom breaks.  The adult should not send in more than the number of stalls and/or urinals in the bathroom.  As one student exits the bathroom, another may enter.  The supervising adult should stand by the doorway and ensure students are leaving the bathroom in a timely manner.  If a minor under age 12 must use a bathroom alone, the minor should use a single-stall bathroom.  If the only bathroom available has multiple stalls, the adult should assign a classmate to stand outside the bathroom and wait for the minor to finish.  If the minor needing the bathroom, the classmate, or both do not return in a timely manner, the adult in charge of the activity should promptly check on them.

For minors 13 or older, an adult supervising the activity should give permission for the minor to leave the activity to use the bathroom.  The adult should note when the minor left for the bathroom and when the minor returned.  If the minor does not return in a timely manner, the adult in charge of the activity should promptly check on the minor. During periods of transition from one activity to another, minors do net need permission to use bathrooms, but adults should monitor bathrooms to ensure minors are not lingering or acting inappropriately in them.

Supervision of Locker Room Use

Adults should not change clothing or shower in locker rooms at the same time as minors, nor should they watch minors undress or shower.

While minors shower, at least one adult in charge of the activity should stand within earshot of the minors to ensure that no adults are showering with them and that the minors are respectful to one another.

Release of Minors at the Conclusion of an Activity

Campus units in charge of activities involving minors should develop written protocols for the release of minors at the end of the activity.  Campus units should supervise minors until they are picked up by and adult authorized in advance to take custody of the minor.  However, with advance written consent of parents/guardians, campus units may release minors to the custody of others or release minors to their own custody.

Campus units in charge of activities involving minors should develop protocols for extended supervision of minors in the event of a natural disaster or other unanticipated interruption of the activity, or if continuous adult supervision becomes difficult for any other reason.

Non-Program Contact with Minors

In-Person Meetings
Employees and volunteers who are part of a campus activity involving minors should not meet in person outside the activity with any individual minor unless another adult who is part of the activity (preferably the employee’s or volunteer’s supervisor) has been made aware and has approved of the meeting in advance.

Employees and volunteers supervising a campus activity involving minors may meet groups of program participants outside the activity provided:

  • The employees or volunteers have written permission from the parents/guardians of each minor participating in the outside activity
  • The outside activity is held in a public place such as a restaurant, museum, or stadium

Telephonic and Electronic Communication
Employees and volunteers may communicate through electronic media to groups of program participants.  However, unless they copy or otherwise include another adult connected to the activity (preferably their supervisor), employees and volunteers participating in a campus activity involving minors should not:

  • Send text messages or respond to text messages from an individual minor involved in the program
  • Send emails or respond to emails from an individual minor involved in the program
  • Communicate via the personal page of an individual minor on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
  • Call an individual minor involved in the program on the telephone

Exceptions should be allowed for employees communicating to individuals in middle school or high school age minors for business purposes only, provided those employees:

  • For emails: use only their csulb.edu email address and copy another employee connected with the campus activity
  • For texts and phone calls: use University-owned devices to the greatest extent possible and make phone calls during business hours in the presence of another employee connected with the campus activity
  • Are willing to share records of their communications with minors sent or received via personal devices

Gifts

Adults participating in a campus activity involving minors may give a token gift(under $25 value) to all minors involved in the activity.  However, no adult participating in a campus activity involving minors should be allowed to give an individual minor in the program a gift (regardless of value) without prior approval from both:

  • The parent or legal guardian of the minor
  • The program supervisor