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Protection of Minors

1. PURPOSE


This policy promotes the standards and expectations of Brigham Young University–Hawaii (“BYU–Hawaii” or “University”) and those of its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is designed to ensure the protection of minors on campus and to comply with applicable laws and procedures, especially, for the protection of all minors that participate in BYU–Hawaii sponsored activities or use University facilities. These minors may include, but are not limited to, family members of faculty, staff, and student families, or visitors at BYU–Hawaii.

2. POLICY


BYU–Hawaii is committed to maintaining a safe environment for minors who participate in University-sponsored activities or visit its facilities. The protection of minors from abuse is consistent with the teachings of the University’s sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with the Church Educational System (CES) Honor Code, and with applicable laws and regulations. The CES Honor Code requires University personnel and students to abide by the standards of Christian living taught by the Church, both on and off campus.

To that end, no faculty member, staff employee, administrative employee, contractor, volunteer, or student shall be involved in the abuse or neglect of a minor, whether on or off campus.

3. DEFINITIONS


Child Abuse or Neglect includes any acts or omissions of any person that have resulted in the physical or psychological health or welfare of a child to be harmed, or to be subject to any reasonably foreseeable, substantial risk of being harmed. This includes sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking in persons.
Adult means a person 18 years of age or older.
Child, Children, or Minor are terms used interchangeably in this policy and mean any person under the age of 18.
Responsible Adult is a person 18 years of age or older who understands that he or she is responsible for the safety and activities of the minors within his or her care and who has completed the required child protection training.
Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse are contacts or interactions between a child and an adult when the child is being used in any way, including sex trafficking, for the sexual gratification of the adult. Sexual abuse includes an act or attempted act of any sexual activity. Sexual exploitation is knowingly using or influencing a child to engage in sexual activity, including viewing pornography, for the sexual arousal of any person or for the purpose of photographing or recording the activity. Sexual exploitation also includes displaying, distributing, selling, or possessing child pornography. A child is abused or exploited through any of the above actions whether or not the activity involves explicit force, involves physical contact, is initiated by the child, or produces a discernible harmful outcome.

3.2 Duty to Report


The University is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all children on campus or who are participating in University-sponsored activities. Consistent with this objective and with Hawaii state law, University employees and officers are mandated reporters[1] and have a legal duty to immediately report to the Honolulu Police Department (808-723-8650) or the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (808-832-5300) any situation, whether on or off campus, in which they “have reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred or that there exists a substantial risk that child abuse or neglect may occur in the reasonably foreseeable future.”[2] Reporters must also immediately notify the President or a member of the University’s administration of the report[3] and must follow up with a written report to the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services. For questions about this reporting obligation, including how to make a report, or for questions about any other provision of this policy, please call the University’s Event Services & Outreach Department (808-675-3780), Office of Compliance & Ethics (808-675-3368), or Office of the General Counsel at (801) 422-3089. In case of immediate threat of violence, call the police, 911.

Incidents of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of children on campus or in any University-sponsored activity should also be reported to the University’s Title IX coordinator, who should ensure that University policies and procedures for investigating such complaints are followed and, if appropriate, disciplinary procedures are initiated.

University personnel or students who have knowledge of and fail to report or to cooperate in the investigation of complaints of child abuse may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment and dismissal from the University. The confidentiality of the reporting party will be observed, provided that it does not interfere with the University’s ability to investigate and take corrective action and is not prohibited by law. Retaliation against an individual who has filed a complaint of child abuse will be considered a violation of policy, and the retaliating person may be subject to sanction, including termination, suspension, dismissal, and/or a ban from campus, depending on the circumstances and severity of the retaliation. Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy.

A person does not need tangible proof of child abuse or neglect to have a duty to report under Hawaii law; a duty arises when one has a reason to believe abuse or neglect has occurred or when there exists a substantial risk that abuse or neglect may occur in the reasonably foreseeable future.

The University discourages the presence of unescorted or unsupervised minors on campus.

3.3 Standards of Conduct


University-sponsored programs involving minors should provide adequate supervision not only during scheduled activity time, but also during free time. The degree of supervision and limitations placed on the minor participants should be commensurate with their age, maturity, discretion and other relevant circumstances.

Adults who are involved with minors in University-sponsored activities:

  • shall adhere to the CES Honor Code.
  • shall not engage in abuse or neglect or other demeaning or disrespectful activities of any kind toward or in the presence of a minor including sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, hazing, or bullying in any form, whether by means of text messages, email, online forums, social networking sites, direct physical contact, or any other method.
  • shall not strike, hit, administer corporal punishment to, or touch any minor in an abusive or illegal manner.
  • shall avoid one-on-one contact with minors (other than parent/child relationships).
  • shall not maintain inappropriate electronic contact with minors via texting, email, online forums, social networking sites (e.g., facebook.com), etc.
  • shall not assist minors in accessing pornography or make any form of pornography available to them.
  • shall not permit minors to participate in overnight, University-sponsored activities unless one of the minor’s parents or legal guardians has given written consent.
  • shall not enter areas where they would be alone with a minor who is showering or bathing (other than parent/child relationships). In emergency situations, responsible adults may enter such an area for purposes of the emergency only.
  • shall not transport minors in a personal vehicle during University-sponsored activities unless:

(i) the minors are relatives of the adult; or
(ii) the minors are residing with the adult as part of the University-sponsored activity and pursuant to written consent from one of the minor’s parents or legal guardians. Transportation of minors during a University-sponsored program is permitted if at least three people are present in the vehicle at all times during transportation of the minors.

3.4 Additional Guidelines

University-Sponsored Programs

All University-sponsored programs involving or with the potential to involve minors must be sponsored by a unit of the University, must register the intent to conduct such a program with Event Services & Outreach, and must adhere to the Standards of Conduct described above. Any contracts with non-University entities for programs or services that involve minors must include a provision that requires personnel to comply with this policy, including the Standards of Conduct.

Background Checks

In an effort to protect minors, the University will conduct background checks to the extent required by law.

3.5 Training


All University personnel, including faculty, staff, administrative employees, volunteers, contracted personnel, and students, shall be notified of their obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect under Hawaii law.

University faculty, staff, administrative employees, volunteers, contracted personnel, and student employees participating in University-sponsored programs involving minors must complete training on child abuse prevention and reporting prior to working with minors and annually thereafter.

All University employees working with minors shall review and sign the University’s Youth Protection Policy Statement of Acknowledgement indicating they will comply with the University’s policies and standards and have completed the required youth protection training.

3.6 Investigations


Investigations of alleged or suspected child abuse and neglect are the responsibility of either the Hawaii Department of Human Services or the Honolulu Police Department. On-campus coordination will be provided by the University’s Department of Public Safety.

4. Sanctions


In accordance with other University policies regarding personnel discipline, any University faculty member, staff employee, administrative employee, or contracted personnel convicted of child abuse will be terminated, regardless of whether the abuse occurred on or off campus. In accordance with other University policies regarding student discipline, including but not limited to the CES Honor Code, any student convicted of child abuse will be dismissed from the University, regardless of whether the abuse occurred on or off campus.

If there is a reasonable basis, as determined by the University, to believe that a University faculty member, staff employee, administrative employee, contracted personnel, or student has engaged in child abuse or neglect, on or off campus, then the faculty member, staff employee, administrative employee, contracted personnel, or student is subject to University discipline in accordance with University policy, up to and including termination or dismissal from the University. (See also Sexual Misconduct Policy)

5. Applicability


This policy applies to all University faculty, staff, administrative employees, contracted personnel, volunteers, and students both on and off campus.

6. RELATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Sexual Misconduct Policy
[1] Hawaii Revised Statutes §350-1.1(a)(2).
[2] Id. at (a).
[3] See id. at (b).

Details

Policy Owner: Educational Services Outreach Manager

Executive Sponsor: Advancement Vice President

Approved by President’s Council: 09/12/2019

Modified: 02/07/2022

Full revision history maintained by Human Resources.