Northeast Passage (NEP) has adopted the following Sport Protection policies as they relate specifically to Northeast Passage-controlled activities and events, and facilities under Northeast Passage’s jurisdiction.
Northeast Passage and the University of New Hampshire are committed to providing a safe environment for all persons. Northeast Passage adheres to the University’s Protection of Minors Policies and Procedures and we will reference these throughout this document. We apply these policies, in addition to the policies outlined here, in our work with all Northeast Passage participants, unless otherwise stated.
For reference purposes, Northeast Passage falls under UNH’s definition of a UNH Youth Program.
All forms of misconduct are intolerable and in direct conflict with the ideals of Northeast Passage. Northeast Passage publishes these policies as a resource to guide our implementation and internal review of effective participant safety and misconduct prevention strategies.
MOVE UNITED RELATIONSHIP
Northeast Passage is a chapter member of Move United and is required to have a written and publicly available Sport Protection Policy that meets the minimum standards of Move United.
Northeast Passage’s Sport Protection Policies shall govern individual’s responsibilities for this chapter and may include additional or different policies that relate to this specific organization, but such policies may be no less restrictive than those outlined by Move United, or as otherwise required by law. Chapter members are solely responsible for their own compliance with the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Reauthorization Act of 2017 and other applicable state or federal law.
ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE NORTHEAST PASSAGE
Many Participants may find themselves to be additionally involved with other various local and grassroots programs or organizations not under the authority or control of Northeast Passage. The policies contained here govern activities run directly by Northeast Passage. However, misconduct by a Covered Individual or a Participant (as defined below), outside of the context of NEP may also be grounds for penalties, including, but not limited to, prohibiting an individual from participating with Northeast Passage.
The policies contained here apply to Participants and Covered Individuals (defined below), as described herein.
SPORT PROTECTION POLICIES
An individual participating in a Northeast Passage event, program or clinical interaction. Provided, however, that misconduct by a Participant directed at an individual outside of the context of NEP programs may also be grounds for Northeast Passage to restrict a Participant’s participation with Northeast Passage or take other action.
B. Child Abuse
Refer to USNH Protection of Minors Policy: Child Abuse and Neglect definition.
The person who is alleged to have experienced conduct that constitutes a policy violation.
Consent is (a) informed (knowing), (b) voluntary (freely given), (c) active (not passive). Consent must be demonstrated by clear words or actions, indicating that a person who is legally and functionally competent has indicated permission to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply Consent for any other forms of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior Consent does not imply Consent to future sexual activity. Once given, Consent can be withdrawn through clear communication. Consent cannot be obtained: (a) by force, (b) by taking advantage of the Incapacitation of another, where the person initiating sexual activity knew or reasonably should have known that the other was Incapacitated, (c) from someone who lacks legal capacity, (d) where a Power Imbalance exists.
- Force: Force includes (a) the use of physical violence, (b) threats, (c) intimidation, and (d) coercion.
- Physical violence means that a person is exerting control over another person using physical force. Examples of physical violence include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, choking, and brandishing or using any weapon.
- Threats are words or actions that would compel a reasonable person to engage in unwanted sexual activity. Examples include threats to harm a person physically, to reveal private information to harm a person’s reputation, or to cause a person sporting harm.
- Intimidation is an implied threat that menaces or causes reasonable fear in another person. A person’s size, alone, does not constitute intimidation; however, a person’s size may be used in a way that constitutes intimidation (e.g., blocking access to an exit).
- Coercion is the use of an unreasonable amount of pressure to gain intimate and/or sexual access. Coercion is more than an effort to persuade, entice, or attract another person to engage in sexual activity. When a person makes clear their decision not to participate in a form of Sexual Contact or Sexual Intercourse, their decision to stop, or their decision not to go beyond a certain sexual interaction, continued pressure can be coercive. Whether conduct is coercive depends on: (i) the frequency of the application of the pressure, (ii) the intensity of the pressure, (iii) the degree of isolation of the person being pressured, and (iv) the duration of the pressure.
- Legal Capacity: Minors cannot Consent to conduct of a sexual nature. While the legal age of Consent varies under state and federal law, the legal age of capacity under this policy is 18. A three-year close-in-age exception will be applied to any policy violation between an adult and a Minor, or between two Minors, where there is no Power Imbalance. When the assessment of whether a Participant’s conduct violates this Policy depends upon another individual being below a certain specified age, ignorance of their actual age is no defense. Neither shall misrepresentation of age by such person, nor a Participant’s bona fide belief that such person is over the specified age, be a defense.
- Incapacitation: Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments about whether to engage in sexual activity. A person who is incapacitated is unable, temporarily or permanently, to give Consent because of mental or physical helplessness, sleep, unconsciousness, or lack of awareness that sexual activity is taking place. A person may be incapacitated because of consuming alcohol or other drugs, or due to a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition. Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely because of drinking or using drugs. The impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person and is evaluated under the specific circumstances of a matter. A Respondent’s being impaired by alcohol or other drugs is not a defense to any violation of this Policy. The Consent construct can also be applied to other forms of non-sexual conduct, such as hazing or other forms of Physical and/or Emotional Misconduct.
F. Covered Individual
Covered Individuals are:
- Northeast Passage employees
- Northeast Passage part-time or seasonally contracted coaches/instructors, whether volunteer or paid
- Northeast Passage volunteers, who Northeast Passage authorizes to have regular contact with participants and/or minors
- Northeast Passage contractors, not included above, who NEP authorizes to have regular contact with participants and/or minors
- Any other individual authorized, approved, or appointed by Northeast Passage to have regular contact with participants and/or minors
G. Regular Contact
Northeast Passage defines regular contact through a process of risk analysis based on specific roles and responsibilities; and is identified by frequent and direct contact with participants.
Northeast Passage positions that classify as having “regular contact” with minors and/or participants, and are background screened, include (but are not limited to): Northeast Passage interns, any program specifically designed to serve youth participants, anyone traveling with competitive sports teams or driving Northeast Passage vehicles.
H. Authorized Adult
An Authorized Adult is a University of New Hampshire employee, student or volunteer (paid or unpaid) who has successfully completed a criminal background check and completed a University protection of minors training.
I. Minor or Child
An individual who is, or is believed by the Respondent to be, under the age of 18.
Any individual who is seeking to be, currently is, or was at the time of the alleged policy violation:
- A participant or athlete in sporting events of Northeast Passage.
- A client in clinical recreation therapy services/programs of Northeast Passage.
- An employee of Northeast Passage;
- Within the governance or disciplinary jurisdiction of Northeast Passage;
- Authorized, approved, or appointed by Northeast Passage to have regular contact with Minor participants; and/or
- A Covered Individual, not otherwise listed herein.
For the purpose of evaluating whether an individual is considered a Participant per this provision, the phrase “currently is” includes the date on which the alleged misconduct was reported to Northeast Passage, through resolution, and including the period(s) of any sanctions imposed.
“Policy” means the Sport Protection Policy within this document.
L. Power Imbalance
A Power Imbalance may exist where, based on the totality of the circumstances, one person has supervisory, evaluative, or other authority over another. Whether there is a Power Imbalance depends on several factors, including but not limited to: the nature and extent of the supervisory, evaluative or other authority over the person; the actual relationship between the parties; the parties’ respective roles; the nature and duration of the relationship; the age of the parties involved; whether there is an aggressor; whether there is a significant disparity in age, size, strength, or mental capacity. In the instance of a coach-Athlete relationship, once established, a Power Imbalance is presumed to exist throughout the coach-Athlete relationship (regardless of age) and is presumed to continue for Minor Athletes after the coach-Athlete relationship terminates until the Athlete reaches 20 years of age. A Power Imbalance may exist, but is not presumed, where an Intimate Relationship existed before the sport relationship (e.g., a relationship between two spouses or life partners that preceded the sport relationship).
A Participant who is alleged to have violated this policy.
N. Third-Party Reporter
Reports brought by individuals other than the Claimant are referred to as “third-party reports” and those bringing them are “third-party reporters.”
An individual, whether an adult or a minor, who has a legal guardian.
Northeast Passage requires mandatory reporting of abuse, misconduct and violations of this policy by Covered Individuals.
To facilitate reporting and understanding, Northeast Passage may require Covered Individuals (as outlined in their job description) to complete awareness training concerning misconduct in sport before performing services for Northeast Passage.
Northeast Passage has partnered with the U.S. Center on SafeSport as an affiliate chapter of Move United to provide SafeSport training. Click here to view a menu of free trainings. If you are fulfilling a role requiring completion of the “SafeSport Trained” curriculum, email email@example.com to request a coupon code for discounted pricing.
Covered Individuals who have completed awareness training are required to take a refresher course, as applicable, every year. Northeast Passage may also require the University of New Hampshire’s online Protection of Minors training
Training will also be made available annually to minor athletes, subject to parental consent. This training will be provided as a resource and will not be required. Any costs associated with the training will be covered by the athlete.
Prospective Authorized Adults must consent to, and pass, a formal screening process before performing services for Northeast Passage or having contact with participants or minors in their role with Northeast Passage.
Elements of Northeast Passage’s screening process include, as applicable, successful completion of an application, interview, reference check and criminal background check.
Northeast Passage and the University of New Hampshire are committed to providing a safe environment for all persons, including but not limited to children. Refer to UNH Procedures for the Protection of Minors: Hiring Practices.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND DISCLOSURES
Each applicant has the affirmative duty to disclose their criminal history. Failing to disclose or intentionally misrepresenting criminal history or any other information provided by an applicant during the screening process is grounds for employment, volunteer and/or participation dismissal or restriction, regardless of when the offense is discovered. Furthermore:
- If an applicant is arrested, indicted, charged, has pending charges, pleads guilty or no contest, or is convicted of a crime during the screening process, the applicant is required to disclose such information immediately.
- In the event a person is serving as a Covered Individual and is arrested, indicted, charged, has pending charges, pleads guilty or not contest, or is convicted after the completion of the screening process, he or she has an affirmative duty to disclose such information immediately to their supervisor or Northeast Passage’s Executive Director.
- Any applicant who has been banned by another sport organization, including, without limitation, the U.S. Center for SafeSport or a National Governing Body, as temporarily or permanently ineligible, must self-disclose this information. Failure to disclose is a basis for disqualification of applicants and/or other penalty or restriction.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK POLICY
All prospective Authorized Adults, as defined above, are required to undergo a criminal background check that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act before providing services for Northeast Passage. Through this criminal background check, Northeast Passage will utilize reasonable efforts to ascertain past criminal history of an applicant.
APPEAL TO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK VENDOR
Any disqualified individual has the right to dispute the accuracy of the findings of the criminal background check directly with Northeast Passage’s approved Criminal Background Check Vendor (HireRight). A disqualified individual may not appeal the disqualification or the results of the findings of the criminal background check vendor to Northeast Passage. Northeast Passage is required by the policy to accept the findings of the approved criminal background check vendor.
Individuals disqualified based on the results of their criminal background check are excluded from participation in any Northeast Passage sanctioned events and/or activities, and any offer of employment or participation with Northeast Passage may be rescinded. If the individual is currently participating with Northeast Passage, that individual may be, among other things, terminated, suspended, or banned from participation with Northeast Passage.
AFFIRMATIVE DUTY TO DISCLOSE
If, during the course of employment or participation in Northeast Passage’s program, a Covered Individual is subject to any disposition or resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an adjudication of not guilty, including, but not limited to an adjudication of guilt or admission to a criminal violation, a plea to the charge or a lesser included offense, a plea of no contest, any plea analogous to an Alford or Kennedy plea, the disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, deferred prosecution, disposition of supervision, conditional dismissal, juvenile delinquency adjudication, or similar arrangement, or any pending criminal charge(s) or warrant(s) for arrest, it is the duty and responsibility of the Covered Individual to notify Northeast Passage’s Executive Director. Covered Individuals are further required to disclose Other Potentially Disqualifying Factors, below, if such factor becomes applicable while the Covered Individual is involved in Northeast Passage.
OTHER POTENTIALLY DISQUALIFYING FACTORS
Even if an individual passes a criminal background check, other factors may disqualify the individual. An individual may be disqualified and prohibited from providing services for, or otherwise participating with, Northeast Passage if the individual has:
- Been held liable for civil penalties or damages involving sexual or physical abuse or misconduct
- Been subject to any court order involving any sexual or physical abuse or misconduct, including, but not limited to, a domestic order or protection
- A history with another organization (employment, volunteer, etc.) of complaints of sexual or physical abuse or misconduct
- Been banned by another sport organization, including, without limitation, the U.S. Center for SafeSport or a National Governing Body, as temporarily or permanently ineligible
- Resigned, been terminated or been asked to resign from a position – paid or unpaid – due to complaint(s) of sexual or physical abuse or misconduct
- A history of other behavior that indicates they may be a danger to participants in Northeast Passage; or
- Not met the job requirements
Records are secured at Northeast Passage headquarters for a period indicated by applicable law or seven years after the individual is no longer affiliated with Northeast Passage, whichever date is later.
COMMITMENT TO SAFETY
Northeast Passage is committed to creating a safe and positive environment for participant’s physical, emotional and social development and to ensuring that it promotes an environment free of misconduct.
This Sport Protection Policy applies to Covered Individuals and Northeast Passage participants.
This section of the policy sets forth expectations for Participants related to emotional, physical, and sexual misconduct in sport, including bullying, hazing, and harassment.
The privilege of participation with Northeast Passage may be limited, conditioned, suspended, terminated, or denied if a Participant’s conduct is or was inconsistent with this policy and/or the best interest of sport and those who participate in it.
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in or tolerate: (1) Prohibited Conduct, as outlined in this Policy; (2) any conduct that would violate any current or previous U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”), Northeast Passage, or chapter standards analogous to Prohibited Conduct that existed at the time of the alleged conduct; or (3) any conduct that would violate community standards analogous to Prohibited Conduct that existed at the time of the alleged conduct, including then applicable criminal and/or civil laws.
Prohibited Conduct also includes:
A. Child Abuse
B. Sexual Misconduct
C. Emotional and Physical Misconduct, including Stalking, Bullying, Hazing, and Harassment
D. Aiding and Abetting
E. Misconduct Related to Reporting
F. Other Inappropriate Conduct
A. Child Abuse
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in Child Abuse.
B. Sexual Misconduct
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual or Gender-related Harassment
- Non-consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit the same)
- Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit the same)
- Sexual Exploitation
- Bullying or hazing, or other inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature.
1. Sexual or Gender-related Harassment
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in (a) and/or (b), below, are present. Sexual harassment includes harassment related to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions outlined in (a) and/or (b), below, are present.
a. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of any person’s employment, standing in sport, or participation in events, sports programs and/or activities; or when submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for sporting decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment); or
b. Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A “hostile environment” exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, and/or pervasive such that it interferes with, limits, or deprives any individual of the opportunity to participate in any program or activity. Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective. Whether a hostile environment exists depends on the totality of known circumstances, including, but not limited to:
i. The frequency, nature, and severity of the conduct;
ii. Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
iii. The effect of the conduct on the Claimant’s mental or emotional state;
iv. Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
v. Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
vi. Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with any person’s educational or work performance and/or sport programs or activities; and
vii. Whether the conduct implicates concerns related to protected speech.
A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident that is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the conduct is physical. A single incident of sexual contact without Consent, for example, may be sufficiently severe to constitute a hostile environment. In contrast, the perceived offensiveness of a single verbal or written expression, standing alone, is typically not sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.
2. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in Sexual Contact without Consent. Sexual Contact is any intentional touching of a sexual nature, however slight, with any object or body part (as described below), by a person upon another person. Sexual Contact includes but is not limited to: (a) kissing, (b) intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching of another with any of these body parts; and (c) making another touch themselves, the Participant, or someone else with or on any of these body parts.
3. Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in Sexual Intercourse without Consent.
Sexual Intercourse is any penetration, however slight, with any object or body part (as described below), by a person upon another person. Sexual Intercourse includes (a) vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; (b) anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and (c) any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person.
4. Sexual Exploitation
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in Sexual Exploitation. Sexual Exploitation occurs when a Participant purposely or knowingly:
a. Allows third parties to observe private sexual activity from a hidden location (e.g., closet) or through electronic means (e.g., Skype or live-streaming of images) without Consent of all parties involved in the sexual activity.
b. Records or photographs private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without Consent of all parties in the recording or photo.
c. Engages in voyeurism (e.g., watching private sexual activity or viewing another person’s intimate parts when that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy), without Consent of all parties being viewed.
d. Disseminates, shows or posts images of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without prior Consent of the person depicted in the images.
e. Intentionally exposes another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without that person’s knowledge.
f. Engages in prostituting or trafficking another person.
5. Bullying, Hazing, or Other Inappropriate Conduct of a Sexual Nature
It is a violation of this Policy for a Participant to engage in bullying, hazing, and other inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature, as further defined in the corresponding sections below.
C. Emotional and Physical Misconduct
It is a policy violation for a Participant to engage in emotional and/or physical misconduct, when that misconduct occurs within a context that is reasonably related to sport, which includes, without limitation:
- Emotional Misconduct
- Physical Misconduct
- Bullying Behaviors
1. Emotional Misconduct
Emotional Misconduct includes (a) Verbal Acts, (b) Physical Acts, (c) Acts that Deny Attention or Support, (d) Criminal Conduct, and/or (e) Stalking. Emotional Misconduct is determined by the objective behaviors, not whether harm is intended or results from the behavior.
a. Verbal Acts
Repeatedly and excessively verbally assaulting or attacking someone personally in a manner that serves no productive training or motivational purpose.
b. Physical Acts
Repeated and/or severe physically aggressive behaviors, including but not limited to, throwing sport equipment, water bottles or chairs at or in the presence of others, punching walls, windows or other objects.
c. Acts that Deny Attention or Support
Ignoring or isolating a person for extended periods of time, including routinely or arbitrarily excluding a Participant from practice.
d. Criminal Conduct
Emotional Misconduct includes any act or conduct described as emotional abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect).
Stalking occurs when a person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or should know, that the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for their safety, (ii) the safety of a third person, or (iii) to experience substantial emotional distress.
“Course of conduct” means at least two or more acts, in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property.
“Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish.
Stalking also includes “cyber-stalking,” wherein a person stalks another using electronic media, such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact.
Emotional Misconduct does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline or improved Athlete performance. Emotional Misconduct also does not include conduct reasonably accepted as part of sport and/or conduct reasonably accepted as part of Participant’s participation.
2. Physical Misconduct
Physical Misconduct is any intentional contact or noncontact behavior that causes, or reasonably threatens to cause, physical harm to another person.
Examples of physical misconduct may include, without limitation:
a. Contact violations
Punching, beating, biting, striking, choking or slapping another; intentionally hitting another with objects, such as sporting equipment; encouraging or knowingly permitting an Athlete to return to play prematurely following a serious injury (e.g., a concussion) and without the clearance of a medical professional.
b. Non-contact violations
Isolating a person in a confined space, such as locking an Athlete in a small space; forcing an Athlete to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an athlete to kneel on a harmful surface); withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; providing alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to another.
c. Criminal Conduct
Physical Misconduct includes any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault).
Physical Misconduct does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance. For example, hitting, punching and kicking are well-regulated forms of contact in combat sports, but have no place in swimming. Physical Misconduct also does not include conduct reasonably accepted as part of sport and/or conduct reasonably accepted as part of Participant’s participation.
3. Bullying Behavior
Repeated and/or severe behavior(s) that are (a) aggressive (b) directed at a Minor, and (c) intended or likely to hurt, control, or diminish the Minor emotionally, physically or sexually. Bullying-like behaviors directed at adults are addressed under other forms of misconduct, such as Hazing and/or Harassment.
Examples of bullying behavior may include, without limitation, repeated and/or severe:
Hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, choking, spitting or slapping, or throwing objects (such as sporting equipment) at another person.
Ridiculing, taunting, name-calling or intimidating or threatening to cause someone harm.
c. Social, including cyberbullying
Use of rumors or false statements about someone to diminish that person’s reputation; using electronic communications, social media or other technology to harass, frighten, intimidate or humiliate someone; socially excluding someone and asking others to do the same.
Ridiculing or taunting based on gender or sexual orientation (real or perceived), gender traits or behavior, or teasing someone about their looks or behavior as it relates to sexual attractiveness.
e. Criminal Conduct
Bullying Behavior includes any conduct described as bullying under federal or state law.
Conduct may not rise to the level of Bullying Behavior if it is merely rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons who perceive they have incompatible views and/or positions. Bullying does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance.
Any conduct that subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or psychologically, to anything that may endanger, abuse, humiliate, degrade or intimidate the person as a condition of joining or being socially accepted by a group, team, or organization.
Purported Consent by the person subjected to Hazing is not a defense, regardless of the person’s perceived willingness to cooperate or participate.
Examples of Hazing include:
a. Contact acts
Tying, taping or otherwise physically restraining another person; beating, paddling or other forms of physical assault.
b. Non-contact acts
Requiring or forcing the consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs or other substances, including participation in binge drinking and drinking games; personal servitude; requiring social actions (e.g., wearing inappropriate or provocative clothing) or public displays (e.g., public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule; excessive training requirements demanded of only particular individuals on a team that serve no reasonable or productive training purpose; sleep deprivation; otherwise unnecessary schedule disruptions; withholding of water and/or food; restrictions on personal hygiene.
c. Sexualized acts
Actual or simulated conduct of a sexual nature.
d. Criminal acts
Any act or conduct that constitutes hazing under applicable federal or state law.
Conduct may not rise to the level of Hazing if it is merely rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons who perceive they have incompatible views and/or positions. Hazing does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance.
Repeated and/or severe conduct that (a) causes fear, humiliation or annoyance, (b) offends or degrades, (c) creates a hostile environment (as defined above), or (d) reflects discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual or group based on age, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, national origin, or mental or physical disability; or (e) any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law. Whether conduct is harassing depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context, and duration of the behavior. Conduct may not rise to the level of Harassment if it is merely rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons who perceive they have incompatible views and/or positions.
Harassment does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance.
D. Aiding and Abetting
Aiding and Abetting is any act taken with the purpose of facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of Prohibited Conduct by a Participant. Aiding and Abetting also includes, without limitation, knowingly:
- Allowing any person who has been identified as suspended or otherwise ineligible by Northeast Passage to be in any way associated with or employed by an organization affiliated with or holding itself out as affiliated with Northeast Passage;
- Allowing any person who has been identified as suspended or otherwise ineligible by Northeast Passage to coach or instruct Participants;
- Allowing any person who has been identified as ineligible by Northeast Passage to have ownership interest in a facility, an organization, or its related entities, if that facility/organization/related entity is affiliated with or holds itself out as affiliated with Northeast Passage.
- Providing any coaching-related advice or service to an Athlete who has been identified as suspended or otherwise ineligible by Northeast Passage;
- Allowing any person to violate the terms of their suspension or any other sanctions imposed by Northeast Passage. In addition, a Participant also violates this Policy if someone acts on behalf of the Participant to engage in Aiding or Abetting, or if the guardian, family member, or Advisor of a Participant, including Minor Participants, engages in Aiding or Abetting.
E. Misconduct Related to Reporting
1. Failure to Report
An adult Participant who fails to report actual or suspected Sexual Misconduct or Child Abuse to Northeast Passage and, when appropriate, to law enforcement may be subject to disciplinary action under Northeast Passage’s resolution procedures and may also be subject to federal or state penalties. Reporting information can be found in Section 5: Reporting Policy.
a. The obligation to report is broader than reporting a pending charge or criminal arrest of a Participant; it requires reporting to Northeast Passage, and law enforcement if applicable, any conduct which, if true, would constitute Sexual Misconduct and/or Child Abuse. The obligation to report to Northeast Passage is an ongoing one and is not satisfied simply by making an initial report. The obligation includes reporting, on a timely basis, all information of which an adult Participant becomes aware, including the names of witnesses, third-party reporters, and Claimants.
b. The obligation to report includes personally identifying information of a potential Claimant to the extent known at the time of the report, as well as a duty to reasonably supplement the report as to identifying information learned at a later time.
c. Participants should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving Sexual Misconduct and/or Child Abuse. Participants making a good faith report are not required to prove the reports are true before reporting.
Per New Hampshire state law and University of New Hampshire policy, failure to report incidents of hazing may be subject to disciplinary action under Northeast Passage’s resolution procedures and may also be subject to state penalties.
2. Intentionally Filing a False Allegation
In addition to constituting misconduct, filing a knowingly false allegation that a Participant engaged in Prohibited Conduct may violate state criminal law and civil defamation laws. Any person making a knowingly false allegation in a matter over which Northeast Passage exercises jurisdiction shall be subject to disciplinary action by Northeast Passage.
a. An allegation is false if the events reported did not occur, and the person making the report knows the events did not occur.
b. A false allegation is different from an unsubstantiated allegation; an unsubstantiated allegation means there is insufficient supporting evidence to determine whether an allegation is true or false. Absent demonstrable misconduct, an unsubstantiated allegation alone is not grounds for a policy violation.
Retaliation against anyone for engaging in Northeast Passage’s processes is prohibited. A Participant, someone acting on behalf of a Participant, a chapter, Northeast Passage or anyone subject to the policy, shall not take an adverse action against any person for making a good faith report of a possible policy violation to Northeast Passage or other relevant organization as identified herein or for participating in any process under this policy.
Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or participating in Northeast Passage’s processes when the action is reasonably related to the report or engagement with Northeast Passage. Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding that no violation occurred. Retaliation does not include good-faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of a policy violation.
F. Other Inappropriate Conduct
1. Intimate Relationship
An adult Participant violates this Policy by engaging in an intimate or romantic relationship where a Power Imbalance exists. An Intimate or Romantic relationship is a close personal relationship—other than a familial relationship—that exists independently and outside of the sport relationship. Whether a relationship is intimate is based on the totality of the circumstances, including: regular contact and/or interactions outside of or unrelated to the sport relationship (electronically or in person), the parties’ emotional connectedness, the exchange of gifts, ongoing physical and/or intimate contact and/or sexual activity, identity as a couple, the sharing of sensitive personal information, and/or intimate knowledge about each other’s lives outside the sport relationship.
2. Exposing a Minor to Imagery
An adult Participant violates this Policy by intentionally exposing a Minor to imagery of a sexual nature. This provision does not exclude the possibility that similar behavior between adults could constitute Sexual Harassment, as defined in this Policy.
3. Intentional Exposure of Private Areas
An adult Participant violates this Policy by intentionally exposing breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or induces another to do so, to an adult where there is a Power Imbalance, or to a Minor.
4. Inappropriate Physical Contact
An adult Participant violates this Policy by engaging in inappropriate physical contact with a Participant where there is a Power Imbalance. Such inappropriate contact includes, but is not limited to, intentionally:
- touching, slapping, or otherwise contacting the buttocks or genitals of a Participant;
- excessively touching or hugging a Participant;
- kissing a Participant.
Violations of the Sport Protection Policy shall be reported pursuant to Northeast Passage’s Reporting Policy and will be addressed under its Disciplinary Rules and Procedure.
SUPERVISION OF PARTICIPANTS
During programs, Northeast Passage strives to create two-deep leadership and minimize one-on-one interactions to create a safe environment and to protect participants. Two-deep leadership means a minimum of two adult Covered Individuals, or one Covered Individual and the parent/guardian of the relevant participant, are present when working with a participant.
For purposes of this Section 4, “ward” means an individual, whether an adult or a minor, who has a legal guardian.
APPROPRIATE ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS
One-on-one interactions between a minor/ward participant and a Covered Individual (who is not the participant’s parent or guardian) are permitted only if they occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult or in emergency circumstances.
- Monitoring. When one-on-one interactions between Covered Individuals and minor/ward participants occur at Northeast Passage events, other Covered Individuals will monitor these interactions. Monitoring includes: knowing that the one-on-one interaction is occurring, the approximate planned duration of the interaction, and randomly dropping in on the one-on-one.
- Out-of-program contacts. Northeast Passage is not responsible for events we have not sanctioned or advertised. Covered Individuals who interact one-on-one with unrelated minor/ward participants in settings outside of Northeast Passage programs must keep interactions professional in nature and in accordance with the policies outlined here. Any interactions must be reported to the Covered Individual’s supervisor and the parents/guardians of the participant. Communication and conduct must be transparent, productive and appropriate (this applies to all forms of electronic communication as well. Reference Electronic Communication policy).
Within the scope of Northeast Passage programming, it may be necessary to meet with a minor/ward participant to address individual health related goals, school/education-based goals, accommodate an individual athlete’s training program or competition schedule, or to address program related concerns or questions of the minor/ward participant. Under these circumstances, Covered Individuals are to observe the following guidelines.
- When possible, individual meetings should occur when others are present and where interactions are at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult.
- Where possible, an individual meeting should take place in a publicly visible and open area, such as the corner of a field of play, preparation area, or public community venue.
- If an individual meeting is to take place in an office, the door should remain unlocked and open, and any windows must be uncovered.
Individual Training Sessions
Within the scope of Northeast Passage programming, individual training sessions may be necessary with a minor/ward participant to address individual health related goals, school/education-based goals, accommodate an individual athlete’s training program or competition schedule. Under these circumstances, written permission of a minor/ward athlete’s parent or guardian is required in advance of the individual training session(s).
Northeast Passage encourages parents and guardians to attend the training session when appropriate to the program such as athletic practice session.
It is preferable that individual training sessions should be observable and interruptible by another adult, however within the scope Northeast Passage school and community based recreational therapy services it is at times necessary for individual transport and treatment of minor/ward participants.
Individual recreational therapy sessions delivered as part of goal based recreational therapy services provided by NH Licensed Recreational Therapists will be listed within that minor/ward participant’s individualized educational plan or individual treatment plan. Parents or guardians of minor/ward participants will sign informed consent for treatment. Individual Treatment including individual transportation will:
- Occur on a predetermined scheduled meeting and for a predetermined duration
- Follow a plan communicated with parent/guardian directly and/or communicated with the school from which the minor/ward participant is picked up and returned.
- Have an identified destination and activity plan directly linked to individual goals that is searchable within the client treatment plan per visit.
- Have associated documentation related to progress of goals.
- Individual transportation will occur only in Northeast Passage vehicles.
Individual Care or Support Sessions
Northeast Passage does not typically provide personal care, however in an unanticipated event or emergency, we are committed to maintaining safety and dignity for all participants. In the event personal care or support is necessary, it will be administered in a private setting. Support provided must be conducted in compliance with this policy and any other applicable Northeast Passage policies or protocols.
Such individual care or support sessions may include:
- Assistance in changing between clothing and sports equipment
PROHIBITED ONE-ON-ONE INTERACTIONS
Except as set forth above, minor/ward participants will not be left unattended or unsupervised during Northeast Passage activities. Northeast Passage activities often vary in schedule and duration. It is generally understood that parents/caregivers/authorized chaperones will be present with their children and that the minor will be the parent/caregiver’s responsibility to accompany and supervise throughout the event, including “down times” (for example in between games, before and after practice, free time at a hotel, etc) as part of Northeast Passage recreation and adaptive athletic programs.
Due to the confidential nature of Northeast Passage clinical recreational therapy service, guardians are encouraged to attend therapy sessions with minor/ward by exception. This is to protect confidentiality of other participants and support individual achievement of therapeutic goals.
PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH PARTICIPANTS
Appropriate physical contact between athletes and coaches/staff is a productive and inevitable part of sport. Especially in adaptive sports, participants may require physical assistance with equipment and movement. However, guidelines for appropriate physical contact reduce the potential for misconduct in sport.
APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL CONTACT
Northeast Passage adheres to the following principles and guidelines in regards to physical contact with our participants.
Common Criteria for Appropriate Physical Contact
Physical contact with participants – for safety, consolation and celebration – has multiple criteria in common which make them both safe and appropriate. These include:
- the physical contact takes place in public
- there is no potential for, or actual, physical or sexual intimacies during the physical contact
- participant receive verbal notice of the contact about to take place
- the physical contact is for the benefit of the participant, not to meet an emotional or other need of an adult
The safety of our participants is paramount, and in many instances, we make the athletic space safer through appropriate physical contact. Examples include:
- spotting an athlete so that they will not be injured by a fall or piece of equipment
- positioning an athlete’s body so that they more quickly acquire an athletic skill, get a better sense of where their body is in space, or improve their balance and coordination (with the athlete’s consent)
- in emergencies, making participants aware that they might be in harm’s way because of other athletes practicing around them or because of equipment in use
Sports are physical by definition, and we recognize participants often express their joy of participation, competition, achievement and victory through physical acts. Appropriate public expressions of celebration include:
- greeting gestures such as high-fives and fist bumps
- congratulatory gestures such as celebratory side hugs, “jump-arounds” and pats on the back for any form of athletic or personal accomplishment
It may be appropriate to console an emotionally distressed athlete (e.g., an athlete who just lost a competition). Appropriate consolation includes publicly:
- putting an arm around an athlete while verbally engaging them in an effort to calm them down (“side hugs”)
PROHIBITED PHYSICAL CONTACT
Prohibited forms of physical contact, which shall be reported immediately under our Reporting Policy include, without limitation:
- massages or rubdowns
- asking or having an athlete sit in the lap of a Covered Individual
- lingering or repeated embraces of athletes that go beyond the criteria set forth for acceptable physical contact
- slapping, hitting, punching, kicking or any other physical contact meant to discipline, punish or achieve compliance from an athlete
- “cuddling” or maintaining prolonged physical contact during any aspect of training, travel or overnight stay
- playful, yet inappropriate contact that is not a part of regular training (e.g., tickling or “horseplay” wrestling)
- continued physical contact that makes an athlete obviously uncomfortable, whether expressed or not
- any contact that is contrary to a previously expressed personal desire for decreased or no physical contact, where such decreased contact is feasible in a competitive training environment;
- physical conduct in violation of Section 3, the Sport Protection Policy, of this Handbook.
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
As part of Northeast Passage’s emphasis on participant safety, all electronic communications between a Covered Individual and participant must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about program activities. The concept of two-deep leadership extends into cyber space. There should be no one-one-one online or digital activities between a Covered Individual and a minor/ward participant.
Electronic communication with a minor/ward athlete, including Text Message, should copy the athlete’s parent or guardian. If a minor/ward participant communicates to the Covered Individual privately first, said Covered Individual should copy the participant’s parent or guardian on the response.
Social Media Platforms
Northeast Passage employees should use best judgment and professionalism in the content of their public media posting. All communications and digital interactions involving any minor participant, should be appropriate, productive, and transparent.
Northeast Passage discourages its staff from private social media connections with unrelated minor participants. Staff and coaches will not share posts made by minors or wards without permission of their parent or guardian.
All participants are encouraged to like and follow the official Northeast Passage channels.
Instant Messaging, Faceook Messaging, Direct Messaging and Similar Media
Northeast Passage prohibits staff and coaches from communicating with participants through personal messaging platforms. Communications will be moved to email and must copy parents/guardians as required herein.
Email, Texting and Similar Electronic Communications
Participants and staff/coaches may use email or texting to communicate. All email content between staff/coach and participant must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team or program activities. Parents or guardians must be copied on communications from a Covered Individual to a minor/ward participant. Where the Covered Individual is a staff member, emails to any participant should come from the UNH.EDU email service (the employee’s return email address will contain “@UNH.EDU”). If a volunteer is sending emails on behalf of Northeast Passage then all email communication must copy the Program Director. If feasible or necessary, Northeast Passage will obtain UNH.EDU email address for volunteers acting on behalf of NEP.
Communications to an entire team need not be copied to all parents or guardians but must at a minimum be copied to another Covered Individual.
Virtual Programming & Video Chat
On occasion, Northeast Passage may implement virtual sessions or meetings to support adaptive sports programming. Whenever possible, Northeast Passage virtual sessions should not be conducted in a 1-1 manner, but should include at least one other participant, coach, NEP staff member or related adult. In addition:
- Parent/guardian shall be aware of when a minor in their care begins engagement in a Northeast Passage virtual session.
- Please choose a location in your home that is easily observable by parent/guardian vs. behind a closed door.
- If possible, it is recommended that the parent be visible to the Northeast Passage staff at the start of the session so NEP can confirm parental knowledge of the session.
From time to time, digital photos, videos of practice or competition, and other images of participants individually or in groups – may be taken by individuals designated by Northeast Passage specifically for that purpose. These photos and/or videos may be submitted to local, state or national publications, used in Northeast Passage videos or publications, posted on the Northeast Passage associated websites or offered to Northeast Passage participant families seasonally on disc or other electronic form. Such imagery must be appropriate and in the best interest of the participant and Northeast Passage. Imagery must not be contrary to any rules as outlined in Northeast Passage’s Sport Protection Policy or other applicable Northeast Passage policies.
Request to Discontinue All Electronic Communications or Imagery
The participant, or the parents or guardians of a minor/ward participant may request, in writing, that their child/ward not be contacted by any form of electronic communication by coaches, and/or that photography or videography of their participant not be taken or shared. Northeast Passage will abide by all such requests, absent emergency circumstances.
Social media and electronic communications can also be used to commit misconduct (e.g., emotional, sexual, bullying, harassment and hazing). Such communications by Covered Individuals or other Northeast Passage participants will not be tolerated and are considered violations of this policy.
LOCKER ROOMS AND CHANGING AREAS
The following guidelines are designed to maintain personal privacy, as well as to reduce the risk of misconduct in locker rooms and changing areas.
Northeast Passage hosts events for participants at third party locations throughout the year and for various sports activities.
Northeast Passage has staggered practices, with different groups arriving and departing throughout the day. While Northeast Passage does not generally post staff members inside or at the doors of the locker rooms and changing areas, staff members do make occasional sweeps of these areas. Staff members conduct these sweeps, with women checking on female-designated areas and men checking on male-designated areas.
Coaches and staff make every effort to recognize when an athlete goes to the locker room or changing area during practice and competition and, if they do not return in a timely fashion, will check on the athlete’s whereabouts.
Northeast Passage discourages parents from entering locker rooms and changing areas unless it is truly necessary. In those instances, it should only be a same-sex parent. If this is necessary, parents should let a Northeast Passage coach or staff person on site know about this in advance.
If an athlete needs assistance with their uniform or gear or an athlete’s disability warrants assistance, then Northeast Passage asks that parents or guardians let an on-site coach or an administrator know beforehand that he or she will be helping the athlete, and when. However, parents must still abide by all Northeast Passage policies regarding use of locker rooms, bathrooms, and changing areas, they may not be alone with unrelated athletes in such areas, and must abide by restrictions regarding female- and male-designated areas.
Northeast Passage teams consist of athletes of different genders. To maintain the cohesiveness of the team, if an individual needs to undress or change, they will leave the locker room to do so in a private location (such as a restroom or alternative locker room). They will then return to the team locker room. If necessary, athletes will take turns using the team locker room or other designated space to change.
Use of Cell Phones and other Mobile Recording Devices
Cell phones and other mobile devices with recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras increase the risk for different forms of misconduct in locker rooms and changing areas. As a result, THERE WILL BE NO USE OF A DEVICE’S RECORDING CAPABILITIES IN THE LOCKER ROOMS OR CHANGING AREAS. Northeast Passage discourages cell phone use at all in changing areas.
Except for athletes on the same team, at no time are unrelated Covered Individuals permitted to be alone with a minor/ward athlete in a locker room or changing, except under emergency circumstances.
Under no circumstances shall an unrelated Covered Individual intentionally expose their breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals to an athlete.
Northeast Passage has established policies to guide our travel, minimize one-on-one interactions and reduce the risk of misconduct. Adherence to these travel guidelines will increase athlete safety and improve the competitive experience while keeping travel a fun and enjoyable experience.
Local and Group Travel
Northeast Passage distinguishes between travel to training, practice and local competition (“local travel”), and group travel involving a coordinated overnight stay (“group travel”).
Local travel occurs when Northeast Passage does not sponsor, coordinate or arrange for travel. For local travel, athletes or their parents/guardians (for minor athletes) are responsible for making all travel arrangements. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the athlete or their parents/guardians (for minor/ward athletes) to ensure the person transporting the athlete maintains all safety and legal requirements, including, but not limited to, a valid driver’s license, proper insurance, well maintained vehicle and compliance with all state laws.
Northeast Passage discourages Covered Individuals, who are not also acting as a parent or guardian, from driving alone with unrelated minor/ward athletes. In the event that this must take place, the following will be implemented:
- Travel will occur for predetermined events and for a predetermined duration.
- Travel will follow a plan communicated with parent/guardian directly and will be agreed to in writing in advance of travel.
- Travel will have an identified destination and event information that is stored and accessible by all Northeast Passage staff.
- Individual transportation of a minor/ward athlete will occur only in Northeast Passage vehicles.
Covered Individuals who also are an athlete’s parent or guardian may provide transportation for their own athlete without restriction, but must still comply with the requirements above with respect to all other athletes. We encourage parents and guardians to pick up their athlete first and drop off their athlete last in any shared or carpool travel arrangement. We also recommend completing a shared travel declaration form signed by the parents/guardians of any minor/ward athlete who is being transported as part of such a carpool arrangement.
Group travel is overnight travel that occurs when Northeast Passage sponsors, coordinates or arranges for travel so that its athletes can train or compete locally, regionally, or nationally. Because of the greater distances, coaches, staff, volunteers and chaperones will often travel with the athletes. However, no Covered Individual will engage in team travel without the proper safety requirements in place.
Northeast Passage drivers and vehicles comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s commercial driving requirements. All Northeast Passage drivers are required to complete a Defensive Driving Course and undergo additional Motor Vehicle background checks per USNH policy.
Northeast Passage makes efforts to provide adequate supervision through coaches and other adult chaperones on groups with minor/ward athletes. Refer to USNH Procedures for the Protection of Minors: Ratios.
For group travel, hotels and air travel will be booked in advance by Northeast Passage. Athletes will share rooms, with 2-4 athletes assigned per room depending on accommodations. Northeast Passage will notify hotel management should any special arrangements be warranted. We discourage meetings from occurring in hotel rooms, and we will make efforts to reserve a separate space for coaches and athletes to socialize. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Northeast Passage’s policies regarding one-on-one interactions (i.e. all meetings shall be observable and interruptible, among other requirements). When doing room checks, attending team meetings and/or other activities, two-deep leadership (two Covered Individuals should be present) and observable and interruptible environments should be maintained.
For minor/ward athletes, Northeast Passage permits family members to stay at the hotel. We encourage all athletes to call parents and guardians regularly and allow for any unscheduled calls by either the athlete or parent/guardian.
Group travel policies must be signed and agreed to by all athletes, parents, and Covered Individuals traveling with Northeast Passage. Covered Individuals who travel with the organization must successfully pass a background check and other screening requirements consistent with Northeast Passage’s policies.
Please note that regardless of the location of the event, Northeast Passage policies on providing alcohol to minors follows U.S. law, and parents and guardians are expected to adhere to this policy, especially when staying near or with the group. No parent should provide alcohol to minors during Northeast Passage travel. Violations of this policy will be addressed under the Disciplinary Rules and Procedure and may result in the sanctions as set forth therein, including, but not limited to, temporary or permanent suspension from competition or participation with Northeast Pssage.
When possible, Northeast Passage will provide reasonable advance notice of details before group travel. Notice will include the dates, location and duration of competition. Travel notice also will include designated group hotels for overnight stays, as well as a contact person within Northeast Passage. For minors and wards, this individual will be the point of contact to confirm your intention to travel and to help with travel details.
For minor/ward athletes, Northeast Passage will distribute a more detailed itinerary, as well as contact information for group travel chaperones.
Mixed-Gender and Mixed-Age Travel
Northeast Passage groups are sometimes made up of male and female athletes across various ages. Athletes will only share a room with other athletes of the same sex and age group. Athletes will be grouped by age and sex for the purposes of assigning an appropriate chaperone. Northeast Passage will make every effort to provide these groups at least one chaperone of the same sex.
Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete (unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling or spouse of that particular athlete). Where an adult is registered both as a coach and an athlete member of a Northeast Passage group or camp, and is functioning primarily as a coach, he or she may share sleeping arrangements with another registered coach.
Coach and Staff Responsibilities
During group travel, coaches and staff members will help athletes, fellow coaches and staff members adhere to policy guidelines, including, without limitation, the Travel Policy, Locker Rooms and Changing Areas Policy and Reporting Policy.
If a coach or staff member transports an athlete or other organization member in their private car or a vehicle rented or owned by Northeast Passage for organized group travel, a copy of the coach’s or staff member’s valid driver’s license is required and must be on file with Northeast Passage in advance.
When not practicing, training, competing or preparing for competition, coaches and staff will monitor the activities of athletes, fellow coaches and staff during group travel. Coaches and staff will:
- prepare athletes for group travel and make athletes aware of all expectations.
- familiarize themselves with all travel itineraries and schedules before the initiation of group travel
- conform to, and monitor for others’ adherence, the Sport Protection Policy and all policies during group travel
- encourage athletes to participate in regular, at least daily, scheduled communications with their parents/guardians, if applicable
- help athletes be on time for all group commitments (as possible)
- assist with group travel logistical needs (as possible)
- support chaperones and/or participate in the monitoring of athletes for adherence to any suggested curfew restrictions set based on age and competition schedule as listed in travel itinerary
- ensure athletes are complying with hotel room restrictions based on gender or age bracket requirements
- make certain that athletes are not alone in a hotel room with any adult apart from a family member; this includes coaches, staff and chaperones
- comply with Northeast Passage and the University of New Hampshire’s alcohol and drug policies.
- immediately report any concerns about physical or sexual abuse, misconduct, or policy violations
- notify parents before taking any disciplinary action against a minor athlete if the athlete is traveling without their parents
- immediately address and report any concerns about sexual and physical abuse, misconduct or policy violations as required under this policy and applicable law.
Chaperones accompany group travel to ensure that the athletes, coaches, staff and volunteers adhere to Northeast Passage’s policy guidelines. While these include the travel policy, it also includes all other relevant policies contained in Northeast Passage’s Sport Protection document.
Chaperones must have undergone a criminal background check and awareness training, as outlined in this policy.
Chaperones will monitor the activities of all coaches, staff members, volunteers and athletes during group travel. Specifically, chaperones will:
- familiarize themselves with all travel itineraries and schedules before group travel
- encourage athletes to participate in regular, at least daily, scheduled communications with their parents/guardians, as applicable
- help athletes be on time for all group commitments (as possible)
- assist coaches, staff and other volunteers with group travel logistical needs (as possible)
- monitor athletes for adherence to any suggested curfew restrictions set based on age and competition schedule as listed in travel itinerary
- ensure athletes comply with hotel room restrictions based on gender or age bracket requirements
- comply with Northeast Passage and the University of New Hampshire’s alcohol and drug policies.
- make certain that athletes are not alone in a hotel room with any adult, including coaches, staff and chaperones, apart from a family member or guardian
- immediately address and report any concerns about sexual and physical abuse, misconduct or policy violations as required under this policy and applicable law.
Violations of this policy must be reported to Northeast Passage pursuant to its Reporting Policy. Violations will be addressed under the Disciplinary Rules and Procedure and may result in the sanctions as set forth therein, including temporary or permanent suspension. Some violations may constitute physical or sexual abuse that must be reported to appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Note: Nothing in this policy shall be construed to require a victim of child abuse or other misconduct to self-report.
No one should investigate suspicions or allegations of child abuse or other Prohibited Conduct, or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations as a condition of reporting to Northeast Passage or to appropriate authorities.
A. Reporting Requirements:
1. Child Abuse
New Hampshire Law (RSA 169-C:29-31) requires any person who suspects that a child under age 18 has been abused or neglected must report suspicion immediately to:
- NH Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Intake Unit.
- 800-894-5533 (in-state) or (603) 271-6562 (out of state)
- After a call to NH DCYF, contact UNH Police.
- Northeast Passage should also be notified (in one of the following ways):
- Through the University of New Hampshire’s Affirmative Action & Equity Office - Anonymous Online Reporting Tool. Depending on the nature of the concern raised, this office would follow-up with Northeast Passage to discuss the process in their response to the claim/concern.
- By Phone at (603) 862-0070 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
- Directly to Northeast Passage’s Executive Director: Jill Gravink - Jill.Gravink@unh.edu or (603) 862-4486
Reporting such conduct to Northeast Passage does not satisfy an Adult Participant’s obligation to report to law enforcement or other appropriate authorities consistent with section 226 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. § 20341).
2. Sexual Misconduct
Northeast Passage encourages anyone who experiences or becomes aware of an incident of Sexual Misconduct involving a Participant to immediately report the incident to Northeast Passage (and to law enforcement if the matter involves possible criminal conduct). Sexual Misconduct also requires a mandatory report to the UNH Title IX Coordinator (in the UNH AA&EO office).
Covered Individuals must promptly report possible Sexual Misconduct directly to Northeast Passage whenever such Participants become aware of conduct that could constitute Sexual Misconduct.
3. Emotional and Physical Misconduct
Covered Individuals are required to report to Northeast Passage emotional and physical misconduct (including bullying, stalking, hazing, and harassment) prohibited under this policy, and violations of other proactive policies. Reports to Northeast Passage can be made:
- Through the University of New Hampshire’s Affirmative Action & Equity Office -Anonymous Online Reporting Tool. Depending on the nature of the concern raised, this office would follow-up with Northeast Passage to discuss the process in their response to the claim/concern.
- By Phone at (603) 862-0070 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
- Directly to Northeast Passage’s Executive Director: Jill Gravink - Jill.Gravink@unh.edu or (603) 862-4486
4. Other Misconduct and Abuse of Disabled Individuals
Covered Individuals are required to report to Northeast Passage all other Prohibited Conduct or policy violations.
The Adult Protection Law requires any person who has a reason to believe that a vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, exploitation or self-neglect to make a report immediately to the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS).
To report adult abuse or neglect:
- Contact BEAS from 8-4:30, Monday-Friday at (800) 949-0470 or (603) 271-7014.
- For Nursing or Assisted Living Facilities – Contact the Long Term Care Ombudsman at (800) 442-5640 or (603) 271-4375.
- Call 911 or the local police after hours, weekends or holidays.
Find more information about Adult Protection and what to do when you suspect adult abuse or neglect.
B. Anonymous Reports
Reports may be made anonymously to Northeast Passage. Anonymity means Northeast Passage will not know the personally identifying information of the reporter. It does not mean that the underlying information will be protected. However, an anonymous report may limit Northeast Passage’s ability to investigate and respond to a report, and if an Adult Participant reports anonymously, it may not be possible for Northeast Passage to verify that mandatory reporting obligations have been satisfied. Consequently, Northeast Passage strongly encourages Covered Individuals to provide their name and contact information when reporting.
C. Confidentiality for Third-Party Reporters
Unless necessary to Northeast Passage’s investigation or resolution of a matter, Northeast Passage does not disclose a Third-Party Reporter’s personally identifying information.
D. Reporting Options for Claimants
A Claimant may choose to make a report to Northeast Passage to pursue resolution under these procedures and may also choose to make a report to law enforcement and/or pursue available civil or administrative remedies. A Claimant may pursue one, some, or all of these options at the same time.
A Claimant who wishes to pursue criminal action in addition to, or instead of, making a report under these procedures should contact law enforcement and/or legal counsel directly.
E. Claimant’s Request for Anonymity
A Claimant may request that personally-identifying information not be shared with a Respondent. Northeast Passage will seek to honor the Claimant’s request(s) if it is possible to do so while also protecting the health and safety of the Claimant and the sporting community.
If the Claimant’s request for anonymity can be honored: If Northeast Passage determines a Claimant’s request that personally-identifying information not be shared with Respondent can be honored, Northeast Passage may take other appropriate steps designed to eliminate the reported conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effect on the Claimant and sporting community. Those steps may include offering appropriate remedial measures to the Claimant, providing targeted training or prevention programs, and/or providing or imposing other remedies tailored to the circumstances as a form of alternative resolution.
If the Claimant’s request for anonymity cannot be honored: If Northeast Passage determines it cannot honor a Claimant’s request(s) that personally-identifying information not be shared with the Respondent, that no investigation be pursued, and/or that no disciplinary action be taken, Northeast Passage may direct appropriate actions, which may include, without limitation: (i) imposing a no contact directive or other temporary measure; (ii) initiating an investigation; and (iii) arranging, imposing, or extending any other appropriate remedial and/or protective measures.
In such cases, Northeast Passage will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of the Claimant. However, actions that may be required as part of any investigation will involve speaking with the Respondent and others who may have relevant information, in which case the Claimant’s identity may have to be disclosed. In such cases, Northeast Passage will notify the Claimant that Northeast Passage intends to proceed with an investigation, but the Claimant is not required to participate in the investigation or in any other actions taken by Northeast Passage.
Northeast Passage is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in the investigation and resolution of reported allegations. With respect to any report under these procedures, Northeast Passage, in its discretion, will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of individuals involved in Northeast Passage’s process, while balancing the need to gather information to assess a report and to take steps to eliminate Prohibited Conduct.
Information will be shared as necessary with Northeast Passage staff and counsel, witnesses, and the parties. It may also be necessary for Northeast Passage to notify law enforcement of an allegation of misconduct.
Parental/Guardian Notification: Northeast Passage reserves the right to notify guardians of Claimants regarding any health or safety risk.
HOW REPORTS ARE HANDLED
Suspicions or Allegations of Child Physical or Sexual Abuse and Abuse of Disabled Persons
Northeast Passage will report all suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse to appropriate law enforcement authorities. Northeast Passage will also report abuse of disabled persons to law enforcement as required by law or on its own initiative. Northeast Passage will not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of the allegations as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. As necessary, however, Northeast Passage may ask a few clarifying questions of the person making the report to adequately report the suspicion or allegation to law enforcement authorities.
Immediate Suspension or Termination
When an allegation of physical or sexual abuse, or other misconduct, is made against a Participant, Northeast Passage may immediately remove that individual from contact with Northeast Passage participants until the allegation has been investigated by an official law enforcement agency, Northeast Passage makes further inquiry, or otherwise.
Following Northeast Passage’s notice of a credible allegation of misconduct by a Participant, Northeast Passage may consider the circumstances in which it will notify parents or guardians of participants with whom the accused individual may have had contact. In Northeast Passage’s discretion, as appropriate, Northeast Passage may notify its staff members, contractors, volunteers, parents, and/or participants of any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse or other criminal behavior or misconduct that (1) law enforcement authorities are actively investigating; or (2) Northeast Passage is investigating internally. Advising others of an allegation may lead to additional reports of child physical or sexual abuse and other misconduct.
DISCIPLINARY RULES AND PROCEDURE
RECEIPT OF ALLEGATIONS
On receipt of an allegation of misconduct or other violation of this policy, Northeast Passage will determine in its discretion the appropriate steps to address the conduct based on several factors, including (i) the age of the Claimant, (ii) the age of the Respondent, and (iii) the nature, scope and extent of the allegations. In addition to reporting to law enforcement as required or as Northeast Passage may determine, possible responses include emergency suspension, further investigation, or other disciplinary action. Northeast Passage may undertake a formal investigation in its discretion and may investigate allegations of child physical or sexual abuse, or other misconduct, that have been reported to law enforcement if such investigation does not interfere with any ongoing criminal investigation or prosecution for the same. If the Respondent is a minor, Northeast Passage will contact their parents or guardians.
Northeast Passage will address allegations against a staff member under its employment policies.
In certain cases, Northeast Passage may temporarily suspend the Respondent pending final resolution of the complaint to eliminate any potential danger to a participant or other individual. Such temporary suspension is not subject to contest or appeal. The determination to temporarily suspend an individual shall be made by the Executive Director.
An emergency suspension may prohibit the Respondent from participating in any capacity or in any role in the business, events or activities of Northeast Passage during the suspension, or impose other appropriate restrictions.
As appropriate, and at its discretion, Northeast Passage may institute a formal investigation of the allegations.
In cases where Northeast Passage determines that an investigation is not necessary, or after investigation if applicable, Northeast Passage’s Executive Director shall determine the appropriate disciplinary action in each case, if any. Sanctions for violations of the Sport Protection policy will be proportionate and reasonable under the circumstances. Northeast Passage may take the following disciplinary actions, without limitation:
- Inform the Respondent’s direct-line supervisor or in the case of a minor, the minor’s parent or guardian
- Provide the Respondent with guidance, redirection and instruction
- Temporary suspension from competition or participation
- Issue a verbal warning
- Issue a written warning
- Implement a limited access agreement (e.g., limiting an individual’s access to certain facilities)
- Engage in restorative practices (i.e., creation of a respectful and safe dialogue when a misunderstanding or harm has occurred)
- Suspend or terminating employment or participation
Northeast Passage will notify a Respondent in writing of the Executive Director’s decision. A copy of such decision shall be sent to Move United.
Any potential disciplinary action for UNH employees will be implemented according to USNH’s Personnel Policies.
A UNH Employee may make an appeal according to USNH’s Personnel Policies.
As it relates to volunteers, the decision of the Executive Director is final and binding. Further action on this will result in consultation with USNH General Council.
By monitoring the interactions among staff, volunteers, participants and others, Northeast Passage works to prevent, recognize and respond to inappropriate and harmful behaviors as set forth in our Sport Protection policy, while reinforcing appropriate behaviors.
MONITORING COMPLIANCE WITH POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Northeast Passage monitors for compliance with its policies and procedures, including without limitation, its Awareness Training, Travel, Locker Room and Changing Areas and Physical Contact Policies.
Northeast Passage utilizes multiple monitoring methods to observe how individuals are interacting, including without limitation (1) formal supervision, including regular evaluations; and (2) informal supervision, including regular and random observation (e.g., roving and checking interactions throughout events), and (3) maintaining frequent contact with staff members, volunteer and participants who interact off-site.
RESPONDING TO INTERACTIONS
While Northeast Passage has a formal reporting policy, staff members and volunteers should be prepared to respond immediately to inappropriate or harmful behavior, potential risk situations and potential boundary violations.
Staff members and volunteers will redirect inappropriate behaviors to promote positive behaviors, confront inappropriate or harmful behaviors and report behaviors if necessary.