Is Your Organization a Haven for Sex Offenders?

September 23, 2011

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

In an era of heated political debates, finger pointing, and all-around disagreement and discontent, it's rare to find something nearly everyone can agree on. Keeping registered sex offenders away from the vulnerable and defenseless, however, is something most folks agree on. Unfortunately, keeping registered sex offenders

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Don't Be Facebook Friends with Children

July 15, 2011

The British Medical Association (BMA) recently released a report titled "Using Social Media: Practical and Ethical Guidance for Doctors and Medical Students." Generally speaking, the audience of CultureOfSafety.com doesn't typically include medical professionals, so you may be wondering why we are sharing this resource with you. Well... this report aligns closely with many of the recommendations we've been making in our Social Media Best Practices Guide and a previous blog post about enforcing unpopular policies, but goes a step further and introduces

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Who Knows Best: Doctor or Lifeguard?

April 15, 2011

A drowning tragedy that took place in the Bahamas earlier this week is raising questions about the response of the waterpark's lifeguards. We encourage you to read more about the circumstances leading up to the drowning, but in short, an unresponsive five-year-old girl was pulled from the water by a waterpark guest. Another guest, who happened to be a registered nurse, immediately began providing rescue breathing. Shortly thereafter, an emergency room doctor

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3 Trends in Child Abuse Scandals

March 24, 2011

An ex-Boy Scout camp director and YMCA water safety instructor accused of filming and distributing child pornography entered a guilty plea this past Tuesday on three of the seven counts he is facing. Similar accusations have been made against dozens of coaches with USA Swimming in the last year as well. In fact, it seems as if horrifying stories like this are coming from every possible direction: sports teams, churcheshigh schools, and even daycare centers.

While the pain and torment experienced by all of the victims is

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Social Media and Children: Implementing and Enforcing Unpopular Employment Policies

December 16, 2010

Four weeks ago I met with a group of YMCA employees to discuss the implementation of a new social media policy. The question on everyone's mind was, should summer camp counselors be permitted to contact minor campers outside of Y programming? I was so enthralled with the discussion that I decided to blog about it that night. You can read more about that discussion at Social Media and the Children: A Fine Line.

After an hour or so, the meeting ended with no clear resolution; at least one more meeting was going to be necessary. So, we met yesterday. This time, we gave ourselves two hours and agreed we needed to stay focused on coming up with some clearly defined social media policies and procedures. I'm happy to announce that we accomplished that goal rather quickly. The new policy will state something to the effect of

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Same-Sex Marriage and Community Orgs

August 05, 2010

[Editor Note: Number of states recognizing same-sex marriage or civil unions updated on February 2nd, 2012] A same-sex couple in North Carolina with three adopted children was denied a family membership at their local YMCA. The Y’s policies and procedures indicate that only a “legally married husband and wife or those who file joint tax returns” may qualify for a discounted family membership.

The couple was encouraged to purchase two separate memberships – a single-with-dependents membership and a single adult membership. While this approach would have given the family access to the Y and its programs just like a traditional family membership, it would also cost an extra

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