• Protection of Minor Children on Campus

    Office of the General Counsel

    Purpose
    Scope
    Requirements of Policy
    Program Registration
    Background Checks
    Training
    Conduct Requirements
    Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct
    Minor Protection Guidelines
    Visitor Guidelines
    How to Make a Report
    NJ Child Abuse Law
    Definitions

    Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure the fulfillment of our moral obligation to protect minor children as vulnerable members of society and the obligation that is mandated by New Jersey law. Specifically, this policy addresses the means by which the University and its employees should protect minor children from abuse.

    All members of the Monmouth University community have a special responsibility to our students and to other younger visitors to our campus. To the maximum extent possible we must ensure their safety.

    Monmouth University complies with all laws concerning the protection of children and will immediately report any cases of suspected child abuse or neglect to the University Police and the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS).

    Monmouth University expects all organizations that bring children to our campus to have procedures in place for criminal background checks of the adults who work with the children and evidence of appropriate credentialing and supervision of the children and the staff working with them.

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    Scope

    This policy applies to “official and non-official” programs and activities taking place on the Monmouth University campus, or under the authority and direction of the University at other off-campus locations, in which Minors will be physically present and participating.

    Programs or activities for elementary and high school students will fall within the scope of this policy. These activities include, but are not limited to, athletic camps, debate camps, workshops, performing arts camps or other related activities. 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 with the exception of programs where the only Minors participating are Minors who are regularly enrolled undergraduate students of Monmouth University, or of another university.

    In order to meet reporting obligations, as well as to provide appropriate protection to Minors, this policy applies to abuse that allegedly occurs on the University’s campus, on property owned or leased by the University, or while members of the faculty, staff or student body are participating in a University connected activity off campus.

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    Policies

    Requirements of Policy Governing Presence of Minors on Campus 

    In order to ensure that the essential functioning of the University is not impaired and that the safety of all Minors on campus is provided for, it is necessary to establish certain requirements governing the presence of Minors on the University's campus.

    These requirements are as follows:

    All Minors

    All Minors not registered for University classes who are otherwise participating in a University program or a program taking place on University property must be supervised by an Authorized Adult(s) at all times while they are participating in that program.

    All supervised Minors participating in a University program or a program taking place on University property are permitted in the general use facilities (athletic fields, public spaces, academic buildings, food services area, etc.) but may be restricted from certain areas of the facilities or from utilizing certain equipment as set in Section VII of this policy.

    Pre-High School Age Minors

    All pre-high school age Minors on the Monmouth University campus must be escorted or supervised at all times by an Authorized Adult.

    Pre-high school age Minors, not participating in Monmouth University sponsored programs or a program taking place on University property, are prohibited from areas where significant potential safety hazards and liabilities may exist and where strict safety precautions are required. In addition, unsupervised or unescorted pre-high school age children are prohibited from entering areas that might include, but are not limited to, storage rooms, equipment rooms and certain athletic facilities such as training rooms, courts, fountains, swimming pools and playing fields.

    High School Age Minors

    High school age Minors not participating in University programs or programs taking place on University property may utilize University facilities such as the Library and the University Bookstore as long as they meet behavioral standards expected of Monmouth University’s enrolled students.

    High school age Minors not meeting University community conduct standards will be asked to leave the campus.

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    Program Registration

    Departmental units shall at least thirty days prior to the first scheduled date of participation by Minors inform the Office of Human Resources of the details of the program or activity on forms posted on the Office of Human Resources website to be completed by the appropriate area Vice President or his/her designee.  See Appendix 1 for Registration Form.

    Any requests for clarification as to whether a particular program or activity is subject to this requirement should be sent to the Office of the General Counsel.

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    Background Checks for Temporary Seasonal Employees

    The University understands that periodically, short-term employees are hired on a seasonal basis to assist with athletic camps, theatre camps, debate camps, and other such activities.  A successful background check will be required of these employees prior to their direct participation with Minors in a program or activity covered by this policy and at least once every four (4) years thereafter.

    It is the responsibility of the University employee in charge of the program or activity to assure that each participating short-term employee has submitted the required background check request form and has subsequently received clearance to participate. The Office of Human Resources will maintain a roster of individuals who have been cleared to participate and the dates on which a new background check will be required.  The failure of a short-term employee to submit to or provide a background check will result in the inability to participate in the program or activity.

    The background check will be limited to criminal offenses.  The University may accept successful documented background clearances from the governmental agencies (e.g., school districts) that have been completed within four (4) years from the start date of employment.

    A decision not to permit an individual to participate in a program or activity covered by this policy based on the results of a background check will be made by the Vice President and General Counsel after consultation with the appropriate area Vice President(s), or others as needed.

    The results of background checks conducted under this policy will be used only for the purposes of this policy.  Monmouth University reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment, with respect to employees who may have falsified or failed to disclose information material to their employment on their employment applications uncovered as a result of the background check.

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    Training 


    Each employee who will be participating with Minors in a covered program or activity shall attend annual mandatory training on the conduct requirements of this policy, on protecting Minors from abusive emotional and physical treatment, and on appropriate or required reporting of incidents of improper conduct (including, but not limited, to appropriate law enforcement authorities).

    In addition, the Office of Human Resources in conjunction with the appropriate departments/areas shall arrange for sufficiently frequent training sessions to permit covered programs and activities to continue to function on a regularly scheduled basis.

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    Conduct Requirements 


    Employees participating in programs and activities covered by this policy: 

    • Are encouraged to avoid, when possible, being alone with a single child.
    • Shall not participate in a sleepover under the auspices of the program or activity, unless (1) a parent or legal guardian of one of the Minors is present, or (2) one of the Minor's parents or legal guardians has given consent.
    • Shall not engage in inappropriate conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Minor.
    • Shall not strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch in an inappropriate or illegal manner any Minor.
    • Shall not pick up Minors or drop off Minors from/at their homes, other than the driver's child or children or friends of the driver's child at their homes in the adult's personal vehicle, whether before, during, or after the program or activity.
    • Shall not engage in the use of alcohol or illegal drugs during such programs or activities. 
    • Shall not be under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or legal drugs which may endanger Minors participating in the program or activity.  
    • Shall not view pornography in front of Minors or make pornography  in any form available to Minors participating in programs and activities covered by this policy or assist them in any way in gaining access to pornography.
    • Shall not develop inappropriate relationships with individual program participants under the age of 18.
    • Shall be alert to the physical and emotional state of all children each time they report for an educational program. Any signs of injury relating to suspected child abuse should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
    • Shall report as soon as possible, any suspected incident of sexual violence.

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    Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct

    Employees participating in programs and activities covered by this policy shall: 

    • Immediately report any violation of the conduct requirements of this policy to the person in charge of the program or activity and to MUPD and/or emergency responders as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
    • To the greatest extent possible assure the safety of Minors participating in programs and activities covered by this policy, irrespective of any other limitation or requirement, including removal of Minors from dangerous or potentially dangerous situations. In such case, MUPD shall be notified immediately.
    • Discontinue any further participation in programs and activities covered by this policy when an allegation of inappropriate conduct has been made against him or her until such allegation has been satisfactorily resolved.

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    Minor Protection Guidelines

    Minors are not allowed in high-risk areas such as: 

    • Shops, mechanical rooms, power plants, garages, food preparation areas;
    • Any areas, indoors or out, containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts;
    • Monmouth University vehicles, boats, grounds equipment, heavy duty or other motorized equipment;
    • Any other high-risk areas (no playing in stairwells or doorways, no access to rooftops, construction zones, etc.)
    • Under no circumstance should an MU employee be requested to perform child care for another MU employee during working hours.

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    Visitor Guidelines

    Individuals visiting campus with Minors under age 14 shall follow the following guidelines: 

    • Line of sight supervision by the parent or guardian is required at all times.
    • The parent or guardian must assure that children are not disruptive to others.
    • Parent or guardian must not leave children unattended at athletic or other University activities.
    • No child may be left alone on campus at any time for any reason.  Monmouth University will call the police if any child is found locked in a car or wandering alone around the campus.
    • Minors may not accompany Monmouth University students to class without faculty approval.
    • MU personnel may not bring children to work unless specifically designated by the University, such as “Bring Your Child to Work Day.”

    Minors above age 14 shall abide by University community conduct standards.

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    How to Make a Report of Abuse?

    If you see something that concerns you affecting the safety of a student or young visitor, or you suspect you have witnessed an abusive situation, please inform an appropriate University administrator, your supervisor, the MUPD, or the Office of the General Counsel.

    • If you see an act of violence or abuse occurring, call X4444 to notify MUPD immediately that you believe a crime is occurring and provide the necessary details.
    • Acts of abuse that already have occurred should be reported as quickly as possible to MUPD. If in doubt, contact campus police for further assistance.

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    New Jersey Child Abuse Law

    New Jersey Law requires: Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse or acts of child abuse shall report the same immediately to the Division of Youth and Family Services by telephone or otherwise.

    Under New Jersey law, persons who in good faith make a report of child abuse shall not be discharged from employment and shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

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    Definitions

    "Minor" for purposes of this policy means any person under the age of 18 including, but not limited to, those persons who are also referred to herein as "children.”

    "Works with Minors" for purposes of this policy means an adult or an authorized Monmouth University employee who could be or has the potential to be alone with the Minor.

    "Authorized Adult" for purpose of this policy means a parent, legal guardian, MU staff member, or adult who has complied with the requirements to be present with minors under this policy and who is responsible for either escorting or supervising the minor(s) while on campus or while participating in any activities identified in this policy.

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    Original Issue Date: May 24, 2012
    Issued By: President’s Cabinet
    Approved By: President’s Cabinet