Volunteering to be Fact Finder when asked by the Club President is an important responsibility. Situations that may endanger the safety and well being of our children do arise, albeit infrequently. When they do, they must be dealt with promptly and fairly. Both the complaining party and the alleged offender need to be treated fairly. At the heart of fair treatment is an unbiased determination of the facts by an appointed Fact Finder. The following guidelines should be followed during the investigation process. First read the following club documents:
You are an important person for any athlete who needs help thinking through and talking about a distressful situation. Our club cares about the safety and welfare of all participants and hopes that any athlete who may be the victim of abuse -- whether it is sexual, bullying, harassment or other improper misconduct by a coach, peer, parent, volunteer or staff member -- feels safe enough to contact you. The athlete should feel as though they have come to a person who will provide athlete-centered, supportive help. With this athlete assistance focus in mind, the AWA must be open to gaining the confidence of the athlete and developing a trusting relationship that will encourage factual, honest, and open dialogue. Keep in mind that you are the advocate for the athlete and your purpose is to hear the concern and then act on behalf of the athlete by working with others in the club to develop a resolution
Sample Letter: Notice to Person Alleged to Engage in Misconduct
Following is a sample memo from the Club President to the person alleged to have engaged in misconduct, when it has been determined that resolution of the complaint to the satisfaction of the complainant is either not possible or inappropriate. Insert appropriate information as noted and send with a copy of the Club policy. A copy should be given to the Athlete Welfare Advocate and the complainant.
The world of sports has been riddled with sexual abuse and harassment of young athletes by their powerful and publicly respected coaches (respected for producing performance results) for many decades, across all sports, regardless of sex. While there is no consistently collected data on the prevalence of these transgressions, there is reason to believe that news reports and limited data from national sport governing bodies represent the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”:
A: Sexual, intimate, romantic, or similar close personal relationships between a coach and an athlete should be strictly prohibited, even if that athlete is an adult, because creates the appearance or actuality of favoritism and special treatment. Examples of other inappropriate behaviors that should be expressly prohibited include:
A: Not unless the Athletes says Ok– only in these generally accepted ways - when correcting physical form for skill or strategy execution, injured or congratulating an athlete for a good performance. Always ask the athlete first. If it does feel ok, it isn't ok.
A: Athletic teams commonly justify rituals or behaviors as rites of passage for team or group acceptance. These activities commonly make the athlete feel humiliated, embarrassed, or devalued or may even threaten the athlete’s safety or dignity. Following are examples of activities that should be classified as hazing, initiation rituals, and physical punishment and be prohibited:
The American Association of University Women released survey results revealing that during the 2010-11 school year, 48 percent of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment in person or electronically via texting, email and social media. The survey asked 1,002 girls and 963 boys from public and private schools nationwide whether they had experienced any of various forms of sexual harassment including unwelcome sexual comments, being called gay or lesbian in a negative way, being touched in an unwelcome sexual way, being shown sexual pictures they didn't want to see, and being the subject of unwelcome sexual rumors. 56 percent of the girls and 40 percent of the boys said they had experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment during the school year.
In 2002, a Penn State University graduate student told the university’s head football coach, Joe Paterno, that he witnessed one of Paterno’s former assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State football facility’s showers. The next day, Paterno told his athletic director. Neither the athletic director nor the president of the institution, who informed of the report, contacted the state’s Department of Public Welfare as required by law. But this wasn’t the first time for Sandusky or Paterno.
Can you remember the days when you left your car parked at the curb as you walked into the airport to meet your loved one at the gate? We just walked right on in and could go anywhere we wanted with no questions asked – no ID, no X-ray machines, shoes on.