Dartmouth College Code of Conduct For Interaction with Minors
Dartmouth College is committed to the safety and protection of children. This Code of Conduct applies to all faculty, staff, volunteers and students representing the College who interact with children or young people in a direct and/or unsupervised capacity. It also applies to employees and volunteers from external groups that interact with children or young people in a direct and/or unsupervised capacity in Dartmouth facilities.
The public and private conduct of faculty, staff, employees, students, and volunteers can inspire and motivate those with whom they interact, or can cause great harm if inappropriate. Especially when working with children and youth, we should at all times be particularly aware that we are responsible for maintaining physical, emotional, and sexual boundaries. We must avoid any sexual behaviors with those for whom we have responsibility. This includes seductive speech or gestures as well as physical contact that exploits, abuses, or harasses.
We must show prudent discretion before touching another person, especially children and youth, and be aware of how physical touch will be perceived or received, and whether it would be an appropriate expression of greeting, care, concern, or celebration. Physical contact with children can be misconstrued both by the recipient and by those who observe it, and should occur only when completely nonsexual and otherwise appropriate, and never in private. One-on-one meetings with a child or young person are best held in a public area; in a room where the interaction can be observed; or in a room with the door left open, and another staff member or supervisor notified about the meeting. Dartmouth College personnel and volunteers are prohibited at all times from physically disciplining a child.
Under New Hampshire law you should report to the New Hampshire Child Protection Services if you have reasonable cause to suspect that children are being abused in any way. To make a report, call between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday - Friday, at 800-894-5533 (in state) or 603-271-6562 (out of state).
Then call the Hanover Police Department, at 603-643-2222 and Dartmouth College Safety & Security at 646-4000. If you are not sure that you should make a report to New Hampshire Child Protection Services, you may call Safety & Security first.
You may also contact the Dartmouth Compliance and Ethics Hotline, which includes an option of anonymous reporting through www.dartmouth.ethicspoint.com or by calling (888) 497-0516.
Faculty, staff, employees, and volunteers should refrain from the illegal possession and/or illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol at all times, and from the use of tobacco products, alcohol and/or drugs when working with children. Adults should never buy alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, videos, or reading material that is inappropriate and give it to young people. Staff members and volunteers should not accept or give gifts to children without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.
Communication with children is only allowed for Dartmouth College business. For the protection of all concerned, the key safety concept that will be applied to these interactions is transparency. The following steps will reduce the risk of private or otherwise inappropriate communication between Dartmouth personnel, volunteers, and minors:
If you have questions about this Code of Conduct, please contact:
Mimi Simpson - Marion.B.Simpson@dartmouth.edu; (603) 646-0348, or
Amy Baker - Amy.T.Baker@dartmouth.edu; (603) 646-2444
I promise to strictly follow the rules and guidelines in this Code of Conduct as a condition of my providing services to the children and youth participating in Dartmouth College programs and programs that use Dartmouth facilities.
Never be alone with children and/or youth at College activities without another adult being notified.
Utilize buddy systems and pursue safety in numbers when another adult is not available to help, e.g. a child who needs to use a bathroom during a group activity will be accompanied by another child of the same sex.
Maintain appropriate physical boundaries at all times and touch children – when necessary – only in ways that are appropriate, public, and non-sexual.
Comply with the mandatory reporting regulations of the State of New Hampshire. I understand that failure to report suspected child abuse to civil authorities is against the law.
Cooperate fully in any investigation of abuse of children and/or youth.
Treat everyone with respect, loyalty, patience, integrity, courtesy, dignity, and consideration.
Use positive reinforcement rather than criticism or comparison when working with children and/or youth.
I will not:
Touch or speak to a child and/or youth in a sexual or other inappropriate manner.
Inflict any physical or emotional abuse such as striking, spanking, shaking, slapping, humiliating, ridiculing, threatening, or degrading children and/or youth.
Smoke or use tobacco products, or possess, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at any time while working with children and/or youth.
Provide transportation to a child who is not my own unless doing so is an acknowledged component of a program that the program director is aware of.
Accept or give gifts to children or youth without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.
Engage in private communications with children via text messaging, email, Facebook, Twitter or similar forms of electronic or social media except for activities strictly involving Dartmouth College business.
Use profanity in the presence of children and/or youth at any time.
I understand that as a person working with and/or providing services to children and youth under the auspices of Dartmouth College or through use of Dartmouth facilities, I may be required to undergo a criminal history background check. My signature confirms that I have read this Code of Conduct and that as a person working with children and youth I agree to follow these standards. I understand that any action inconsistent with this Code of Conduct or failure to take action mandated by this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from the College or cancellation of a contract with the College.
Last Updated: 4/28/15