Protection of Minors on Campus Regulation 125

Regulation 125 Approved: December 2, 2022
Protection of Minors on Campus
Regulation 125
Source of Authority: UNC Code § 1300.10
Revision Authority: Chancellor

First Issued: December 2, 2022

Related Policies:

Criminal Background and Credit Checks Regulation 604

Policy on Protection of Minors on Campus [UNC Policy 1300.10]

Duty to Report Abuse, Neglect, Dependency, or Death due to Maltreatment [NCGS § 7B-301]

Failure to Report Crimes Against Juveniles; Penalty [NCGS § 14-318.6]

Responsible Offices: Chancellor
Effective Date: December 2, 2022

I. Purpose

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (University or UNCSA) is committed to providing a  safe  environment for all individuals participating in University affiliated programs and activities.. This policy describes the process and structure for the protection of individuals under the age of eighteen (18) (“minors”) (see Definitions) who participate in University affiliated activities or activities sponsored by third-parties that are  held on the University’s campus. This policy addresses the following:

i. mandatory registration and approval requirements for proposed Covered Programs; 

ii. screening requirements for employees, contractors, volunteers, and all other persons who interact with minors in Covered Programs, including background checks; and training requirements for employees, contractors, and volunteers. 

II. Scope

This Policy applies to all covered programs at UNCSA. Faculty, staff, volunteers, and students, as well as outside third parties (including those contracted by the University) who are authorized to use University facilities or property, must comply with this policy.

The Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs and/or designees have oversight of Covered Programs at UNCSA. 

As used in this Policy the term “Minors” applies to persons under the age of 18 who are not enrolled or matriculated students of the University.

i. All portions of this Policy apply to the protection of Minors participating in programs sponsored by the University or held on University property, with the exception of students who are enrolled or matriculated at UNCSA (“Enrolled Students”).

ii. With the exception of mandatory reporting requirements, enrolled students who are minors are covered by University policies applicable to students and applicable State laws involving the protection of minors and are not subject to the remaining requirements of this Policy. Mandatory reporting requirements apply to the protection of all minors, including enrolled UNCSA students. 

iii. All contracts for the services of independent contractors who will have Direct Contact with Minors as part of a Covered Program must include a provision that requires compliance with all of the provisions of this policy.

III. Definitions

Child Abuse or Neglect: The North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) provides that child abuse is “the intentional maltreatment of a child and that can be physical, sexual or emotional in nature.” Neglect is “the failure to give children the necessary care they need."

Covered Program: A program or activity in which Minors participate that is conducted by the University, whether located on UNCSA property or held virtually, or conducted by a third-party or external organization on UNCSA property. Covered Programs do not generally include:

• field trips or visits sponsored by outside agencies that temporarily bring minors onto University property;

• programs or events that are not focused on minors as the target audience and are open to the general public, such as concerts or performances; or

• programs designed exclusively for students enrolled or matriculated at the University.

Covered Individuals or Covered Program Staff: All individuals eighteen (18) years or older, including employees, volunteers (paid or unpaid), and UNCSA students who work closely with, instruct, supervise, or otherwise come in direct, non-incidental contact with Minors in a Covered Program.

Invited guest speakers, guest artists, or guest instructors whose interactions with Minors are limited or temporary, and are accompanied by a Covered Individual, are not considered Covered Individuals.

Direct Contact: Care, guidance, control, or supervision of Minors in group or one-on-one settings or the potential for one-on-one interaction with Minors.

Mandatory Reporter: Any person who reasonably suspects that a Minor, including an enrolled student, has been abused or neglected by a parent, guardian, custodian, caregiver, or Covered Individual has an  absolute obligation to immediately report that suspicion to the UNCSA Police Department, Forsyth County Department of Social Services (DSS) and/or the appropriate UNCSA Department, regardless of where the offense occurred.

Minors: Any individual under the age of eighteen (18) years of age who is participating in a Covered Program. With the exception of the mandatory reporting requirements herein, this policy does not apply to students under the age of 18 who are enrolled or matriculated at the University.

Program Director: The designated administrator or officer supporting or coordinating the Covered Program.

University Property: All campus grounds, buildings, facilities, or other improvements, that are owned, leased, used, or otherwise controlled by the University.

Third-Party: An organization or individual external to or otherwise not associated with the University that uses University facilities to conduct a Covered Program under this policy.

University Community or University Community Members: University faculty, staff, unpaid volunteers, students, temporary employees, visiting guest artists or other visitors, and any other University affiliates.

IV. Guidelines

A.     Registration and Approval

All Covered Programs must be registered and approved by the Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs or designee at least 60 days prior to the program or activity. All programs  must be approved and registered annually. The registration should include, at a minimum:

1) A description of the proposed Covered Program; 
2) Name of Sponsor; 
3) Name of Program Director; 
4) The period of time for which the Covered Program will operate; 
5) The expected number of employees and/or volunteers involved, and Minors served; 
6) An acknowledgment of relevant institutional policies, including requirements for background checks, training, insurance, parking access, and facilities use; 
7) An acknowledgment of state mandatory reporting requirements related to suspected abuse or neglect of a Minor; and 
8) For third party vendors, a statement acknowledging that the university may monitor compliance with requirements for operating a Covered Program. 
9) The name or position of the university administrator or officer with responsibility for approving the proposed Covered Program.

B.      Mandatory Background Checks

A background check must be completed for all Covered Program Staff eighteen (18) years of age or older. Background checks must be completed at least thirty (30) days prior to a Covered Program Staff member having any Direct Contact with minors as part of a Covered Program.  The cost of the background check is the responsibility of the Covered Program.

Third-party providers must use a University approved background check vendor and results should be returned to the Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs for review and assessment.

At a minimum, the background checks should include statewide felony and misdemeanor checks in all states where the person has resided for the last 7 years, a social security verification, and national and state sex offender registry checks.  A certified driver’s license check is required where transporting minors is involved. 

Any proposed Covered Program Staff member whose background check reveals prior criminal convictions that involve a sex offense, crimes against children, or a serious violent crime involving assault or injury to others, may not participate in a Covered Program. 

It is the responsibility of all Covered Individuals to reports any arrests, charges, (including any accusation of a crime by a formal complaint, information, or indictment) and/or convictions that occur during their time as a participant in a Covered Program and/or their time as a Covered Individual. Each arrest, charge or conviction will be reviewed with respect to the nature of the offense, the surrounding circumstances, seriousness, and the relevance of the conviction to the Covered Individual’s position. If a Covered Individual is arrested or charged for an unlawful offense, the totality of the circumstances surrounding the arrest or charge may be sufficient to be considered unacceptable personal conduct or misconduct of such a nature as to indicate that the individual is unfit to continue to participate in a Covered Program. In that instance, a Covered Individual may be required to immediately terminate their participation in the Covered Program. 

Covered Program Staff must undergo subsequent background checks at least annually. There is one exception pursuant to which a Covered Program Staff member may have subsequent background checks every two (3) years and required to attest to compliance with background checks annually.

i. The exception applies to Covered Program Staff who are also University employees or students and who are continuously employed by or enrolled in the University without any break in their employment or enrollment.

V. Roles and Responsibilities

A. Covered Program Staff Training Requirements

Each Covered Program must assure that all Covered Program Staff are trained on policies and issues relevant to the protection of Minors. This training must occur at least annually prior to any Direct Contact with Minors. The management of a Covered Program may enhance and/or modify the University’s training requirements to meet specific needs of the applicable Covered Program. At a minimum, training must include the following:

• UNCSA Policy on the Protection of Minors on Campus;
• Sexual abuse and sexual harassment;
• Detection of Child Abuse and Neglect through behavioral signs that Minor victims may exhibit;
• Protecting Minors from Child Abuse and Neglect by adults;
• Protecting Minors from abuse and bullying by peers.
• Covered Program Staff responsibilities and expectations
• Crisis and emergency response protocol
• Safety and security protocol
• Confidentiality and privacy guidelines
• Reporting suspected child abuse.

Covered Programs are responsible for ensuring training compliance and providing certification of training to UNCSA. 

B. Mandatory Reporting

UNCSA recognizes the legal and ethical obligations that University personnel, contractors, and volunteers have to report known or suspected maltreatment of children. Both as a matter of University policy and North Carolina state law (N.C. Gen Stat §7B-301 and N.C. Gen Stat §14-318.6), any person 18 years of age or older who reasonably suspects that a Minor has experienced Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense by a parent, guardian, caretaker, peer, non-custodial adult, or Covered Program Staff member has an obligation to immediately report that suspicion to the UNCSA Police Department and the Forsyth County Department of Social Services, regardless of the residence of the Minor involved or suspected perpetrator.”. Mandatory reporting requirements apply to all members of the University Community, whether or not they are considered a Covered Individual under this Policy. 

Mandatory Reporters should also notify the Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs when making any of the reports described in this section. Notifying only the Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs does not relieve persons of the duty to report under this policy.

Covered Program Staff must also report any suspicion of Child Abuse, Neglect or Violent Offense to the relevant Covered Program Director. Reporting to the Covered Program Director does not relieve the individual of the requirement to report to UNCSA Police or Forsyth County Department of Social Services. 

VI. Records Retention

All Covered Programs must maintain their documentation and records in compliance with this policy for a minimum of five (5) years after the conclusion of a Covered Program.

VII.    Compliance

  • Nothing in this policy should be construed as a limitation of protections, rights, or duties of employees or students of UNCSA. This includes, but is not limited to, the Student Code of Conduct, Faculty Manual or any other applicable law, policy or procedure governing employee or student rights and duties.
  • Violations of this policy by a University employee may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.V
  • Violations of this policy by volunteers, guest artists, or other visitors may result in end of assignment.
  • Violations of this policy by a UNCSA student may result in referral to the Dean of Students.
  • Violations of this policy by Third-Party Covered Program Staff may result in disciplinary action that requires immediate removal from Direct Contact with Minors, and /or University property or facilities.
  • If it is determined that a Covered Program has not complied with any provision of the University’s Policy on the Protection of Minors on Campus, the Covered Program may be subject to immediate discontinuation of operation and/or use of University property. At the discretion of the University Coordinator for the Protection of Minors on Campus, the Covered Program may also be banned from future use of university facilities.

VIII. Revision History

December 2, 2022 – Adopted by Chancellor as part of UNCSA Policy Manual.