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Skidmore College
Skidmore College
Protection of Minors Policy

Frequently Asked Questions about the Protection of Minors Policy

Webster’s dictionary defines gossip as an action taken by a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others.  As such, gossiping is prohibited in the presence of minors.

What is sexually inappropriate is subjective and based on the content of the material and the age of those exposed to the material.  When considering the suitability of the content, one factor to take into account is whether the material is part of the college curriculum. 

Additional, Skidmore’s Anti- Harassment Policy for Staff/Anti-Harassment Policy for Faculty states “Nonverbal Harassment may include staring, blowing kisses, winking or displaying sexually suggestive material in the work area, in the classroom, in lockers or as screen savers on one’s computer.”

Generally, traditional teaching is instruction provided in an organized group setting, regardless of location, and always includes more than one student.  It is exempt from the policy because it occurs only in a group context, as opposed to private one-on-one interactions where allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviors are more likely to be made.
Note: a classroom is defined as any location where traditional teaching occurs.

Faculty office hours are not considered traditional teaching because they typically involve one-on-one interactions (faculty to student), and are regarded as “private program-related communications.”

Should a minor be scheduled for office hours, it is incumbent upon the faculty member to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of the minor and reduce the appearance of any inappropriate conduct.
These steps may include: leaving the office or studio door open, having a staff or faculty member remain within sight or earshot, or be accompanied by another staff or faculty member.

Outside of the traditional teaching setting, nametags or other identification must be worn or displayed whenever interacting with minors in your official capacity (including after hours or when on-call).  In addition to the standard identification card on a lanyard, nametags may be incorporated into one’s uniform (i.e., embroidered name on shirt), or for faculty office hours, the room’s nameplate can function as identification.

Your supervisor will make arrangements for those individuals with no computer access in their workplace.

The training needs to be completed annually.

If you witness conduct toward a child or children that seems troubling or suspicious, report it to Campus Safety. Describe what you have witnessed to the best of your ability. Try to recall as many details as you can, including where the activity took place, the time of day, whether there were other witnesses, descriptions of the individuals involved (approximate ages, builds, clothing, any descriptive personal characteristics), and the conduct you witnessed. Do not attempt to speculate or “fill in the blanks” if you don’t recall the answer to a question about what you witnessed. If you are unsure of whether the conduct was abuse, be straightforward that you are unsure of what you witnessed, and describe whatever was of concern to you.

Reports of child abuse or inappropriate conduct are shared on a need-to-know basis. Campus Safety will inform only those individuals who need to know of the situation because of their administrative position or duties in responding to the occurrence. Responsible officials should similarly disclose instances of inappropriate conduct only to those persons who need to know in order to appropriately respond.

Off-campus child abuse or inappropriate conduct by a member of the Skidmore College during a sanctioned College activity should be reported to Campus Safety, and 911 if there is immediate danger to the child.

Questions concerning this policy should be directed to your supervisor, department chair, or program director.  Supervisors can seek clarification from Human Resources.