Southwind Harassment Statement
Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps is, above all things, a youth organization. That means we take the safety and security of our members, staff and alumni very seriously.
That’s why Southwind has a stringent policy on harassment with well-defined guidelines on respectful ways to interact with one another. This includes conduct between members, between staff and members, and between our vendors and members.
Our policy is a zero-tolerance policy. Further, our policy is clearly explained at the beginning of every season with clear-cut rules how staff and board members are to interact with corps membership.
Employment with Southwind is contingent on fully understanding and agreeing to these rules. As an additional precaution, all staff members, board members, and volunteers must submit to a screening for any questionable past actions.
Drum corps is an extraordinarily rewarding experience for its members and staff alike, teaching both musical skills and self-reliance, lessons that serve its members and alumni for life. We believe that drum corps creates lifelong friendships based on mutual trust and shared experience.
We are proud of the safe and nurturing environment we create for our members, youth who come to us from all walks of life. And we look forward to continue creating a positive experience for future generations of performers.
Incident Reporting Tool
Southwind is committed to creating a safe environment for ALL members, staff and volunteers. To help you and us maintain that environment, we have created a tool that may be used to report (anonymously or otherwise) any incident of harassment you may experience or witness (or have experienced or witnessed in the past). Each reported incident will go to our Compliance Committee, where it will be fully investigated and handled accordingly. We do not take these incidents lightly, and violation of our harassment policies will not be tolerated no matter what “standing” you may have within the corps or the activity. If you have questions, feel free to ask them here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policy on Harassment
Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps is committed to creating and maintaining a positive and healthy atmosphere for its Members, staff and volunteers. Essential to this is an environment that is free from any form or threat of harassment. Harassment is a form of discrimination and includes any conduct that adversely affects a positive learning environment, including but not limited to actions or comments that are sexual in nature, violent or threatening violence, hazing, or demeaning, that the perpetrator knew, or reasonably should have known, would be unwelcome. Harassment leads to adverse impacts to the person(s) experiencing harassment as well as those around them, and negatively impacts the camaraderie we value.
Harassment can take many forms, but generally involves conduct, comments, or display that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, demeaning, belittling, malicious, degrading or otherwise causes offense, injury or potential injury, discomfort, personal humiliation or embarrassment to a person or group of persons.
Southwind expressly prohibits harassment of any kind under any and all circumstances.
Southwind has adopted the definitions and policies of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such is made either directly or indirectly a term or condition of employment or participation;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or participation decisions which affects an employee, volunteer or Member;
- Such conduct has the purpose or the effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee’s, volunteer’s or Member’s routine performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.
- The following are some examples of conduct that may be considered sexual harassment and, therefore, are prohibited by this policy:
- Repeated unwelcome and offensive sexual flirtations, advances or propositions;
- Verbal or written abuse of sexual nature;
- Graphic verbal or written commentaries about a person’s body or behaviors;
- Display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
- Continued or repeated suggestive sexual comments or remarks;
- Insults, humor or jokes about a person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation or traits relating to sex;
- Continued or repeated touching, pinching or brushing a person’s body.
Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional, socially acceptable compliments. It refers to behavior that is unwelcome, personally offensive or sufficiently severe or repeated so that it alters the conditions of employment or learning or creates an abusive or unproductive environment.
Hazing includes, but is not limited to:
- Any direct or indirect action or inaction that causes or poses a risk of harm to the mental or physical health or safety of one or more people;
- Subjecting or encouraging any person to commit an act or omission for the purpose of causing shame, abuse, insult, humiliation, intimidation or disgrace; or
- Any physical assault or battery, or threat thereof.
- Hazing is expressly prohibited by Southwind under any and all circumstances and between and among our members, staff and volunteers
Bullying will not be tolerated. In this context, “bullying” includes actions, whether threatened or real, towards or against any individual or group, whether by actions, words, gestures, symbols, or verbal or physical intimidation of any kind. It is designed to intimidate, embarrass, coerce, or shame an individual or group. Bullying is utterly inconsistent with who we are and what we strive to be.
STAFF AND MEMBER RELATIONS
It is the policy of Southwind to prohibit any inappropriate interaction between staff or volunteers and members at all times and under all circumstances, as well as the appearance of inappropriate interactions.
One-on-one contact between adults, staff, and volunteers of Southwind and the members of the Corps is expressly prohibited. In situations requiring an individual or personal conference, such as a meeting to discuss disciplinary or medical issues, the meeting is to be conducted with the prior knowledge of and in clear view of other adult staff or volunteers.
The prohibition on one-on-one contact between adults, staff, and volunteers and the marching members applies as well to written, digital, and electronic communications. No one-on-one private online communications or engagement in one-on-one digital activities (games, social media, etc.) with youth members will be permitted.
Should direct written, digital and electronic communications occasionally become absolutely necessary and required, and no other readily acceptable method can be used, a parent and another staff member or volunteer shall be included on such necessary written, digital and electronic communications. This safeguard ensures that no private, one-on-one contact takes place in text, social media, or other forms of written, digital and electronic communications.
Romantic and sexual relationships between staff and marching members, or between volunteers and marching members, regardless of their respective ages, are also expressly prohibited.
Further, staff, volunteers, and members should be aware of unintentionally or inadvertently invading the privacy of other individuals with video, picture and audio recording devices. The use of any device capable of recording or transmitting visual images in or near showers, locker rooms, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected is not allowed.
All persons involved in Southwind must immediately report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any member is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. This duty cannot be delegated or passed along to any other person.
Immediate reporting of any such good-faith suspicion or belief, or of any other violation of any policy of Southwind shall also be immediately reported to the Corps Director, Tour Manager or member of the Board of Directors of Southwind. This duty cannot be delegated or passed along to any other person. Immediate and appropriate action shall be taken for the safety of our members, staff and volunteers, as well as for appropriate notifications and follow-up with appropriate investigating agencies. Any and all actions taken will be in the sole and absolute discretion of Southwind.
Any violation of this policy will be grounds for immediate and summary disciplinary action by Southwind in its sole and absolute discretion. Such action may include immediate and summary dismissal from Southwind.
DUTY TO REPORT VIOLATIONS
It is the affirmative obligation of all management, staff, volunteers and members to immediately report in good faith any violation of the law or of the policies of Southwind to either the Corps Director or any member of the Board of Directors. Should circumstances prevent such immediate reporting, any violation shall be reported as soon as possible.
Upon receiving any such report, appropriate action shall be taken to protect the health, welfare and rights of the reporting parties, supervisors, witnesses, and any other individuals involved. The nature of the complaint, the identity of the reporting party, and any other individuals involved shall be kept confidential until the matter is reviewed by the Corps Director or the Board Chairman. Confidentiality shall apply and remain to the maximum degree possible.
Southwind shall take any and all measures they feel appropriate to investigate any violation of law or the policies of Southwind, including interviews with the individuals involved and witnesses to any conduct, and review of written and electronic communications. Should a complaint be substantiated, disciplinary action in the sole and absolute discretion of the Corps Director or the Board of Directors shall be taken, up to and including termination of the individual’s relationship with Southwind and reporting the incident to appropriate civil or law enforcement officials.
Similarly, false reporting will also not be tolerated. Should it be determined after appropriate investigation that an allegation was brought based upon revenge, anger, dislike or any other improper motive, the individual or individuals making the false report are subject to immediate disciplinary action as set forth above, in the absolute and sole discretion of the Corps Director or the Board of Directors.
NO RETALIATION – WHISTLEBLOWER POLICY
Retaliation against any Director, employee, student, parent, volunteer, agent, contractor or supporter of Southwind who raises concerns regarding potential violation of the law or of Southwind’s standards of conduct is prohibited. Retaliation against any individual for the good-faith reporting of real or potential compliance and policy violations is cause for immediate and appropriate actions, up to and including summary dismissal from Southwind in its sole discretion.
No Director, employee, contractor, subcontractor, or agent of Southwind shall discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or in any other manner knowingly and intentionally discriminate against any individual in the terms and conditions of their relationship with Southwind because of any act done by the individual:
- To provide information, cause information to be provided, or otherwise assist in an investigation regarding any conduct which the reporter reasonably believes constitutes a violation of state or federal law applicable to Southwind or Southwind’s policies and procedures, when the information or assistance is provided to, or the investigation is conducted by
- any state or federal regulatory or law enforcement agency;
- any lawfully constituted investigative body; or
- a person with supervisory authority over the individual or such other person working for Southwind who has the authority to investigate, discover, or discipline misconduct; or
- To file, cause to be filed, testify, participate in, or otherwise assist in a proceeding filed or about to be filed relating to an alleged violation of state or federal law applicable to Southwind.
Reports of real or potential violations of law or violations of the policies and procedures of Southwind shall be reported to the Corps Director or the Chair of the Board of Directors, who shall take immediate action as deemed necessary and appropriate in their sole discretion to protect the health and welfare of the members and all individuals associated with Southwind, up to and including reporting of the incident to appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Before you become formally associated with Southwind, you will be subject to a criminal record and a background check. This is a mandatory requirement of Southwind. Your relationship with Southwind will be determined after the criminal record and the background check is completed, reviewed and your association with Southwind approved. You have the right to a copy of the criminal record and background check, the right to submit any additional information for consideration, such as a teacher certification, and the right to contest the results of the criminal record and background check.
Upon request, a prospective employee or independent contractor shall complete the attached form entitled “Authorization to Release Information and Records.” The release should be submitted to the designated representative of Southwind for retention in the prospective employee’s personnel file.
The prospective employee or volunteer will be notified by the designated representative of Southwind of the results of the background investigation by phone, e-mail, or letter, and a document verifying notification will be placed in the prospective employee’s personnel file. The Release and the results of any background check will be kept strictly confidential by the Corps.
A violation of these policies will be determined in the sole and absolute discretion of Southwind. In such event, you will be notified and disciplined as deemed appropriate in the sole and absolute discretion of Southwind, up to and including the immediate suspension or termination of any contract, employment or volunteer relationship, separation from Southwind and the reporting of the incident to law enforcement officials if appropriate.