Youth protection policies, related policies, and guidelines

Protecting Minors Policy

To uphold our commitment to protecting minors and comply with all applicable laws, the Protecting Minors Policy includes mandatory youth protection protocols and reporting responsibilities to help safeguard individuals under the age of 18. These protocols include requirements around the reporting of child abuse and neglect and other violations relating to minors, the screening and training of Covered Activity Staff, and other operational requirements for administering Covered Activities (e.g., transportation, electronic communications, supervision ratios, restroom, changing areas and locker rooms; overnight and lodging accommodations, etc.). 

USC’s Guidelines for Interacting with Minors

All members of the university community are expected to be role models for young people and to maintain the highest standards of behavior when interacting with minors. This includes acting in a respectful and responsible manner that is consistent with the university’s Integrity and Accountability Code and the behavioral expectations set forth in USC’s Guidelines for Interacting with Minors

Standards of Behavior for Youth Participants

We want all youth to feel safe and supported. By following the following standards of behavior for youth participants, participants can help everyone have a positive experience when participating in a Covered Activity. Note: Covered Activities may have additional rules and expectations above and beyond what is included here. 

Standards of Behavior for Youth Participants of Covered Activities

Youth participants taking part in camps, programs, activities and events with minor participants are
required to conduct themselves in accordance with the following standards of behavior. These standards have been established to help maintain a supportive, engaging, safe, and meaningful experience for all, and are intended to operate in conjunction with the guidelines, rules and regulations of the specific camp, program, activity or event in which youth participants are taking part.

Participant expectations:

  • Be courteous and considerate, and always interact with others respectfully
  • Practice good citizenship, open-mindedness, and always treat others with kindness
  • Use appropriate language at all times, and be thoughtful in what you say, post, share or comment in any online platform
  • Practice leadership and encourage fellow participants to conduct themselves appropriately and with integrity
  • Be responsible for your own behavior; uphold high standards for self and accept consequences for inappropriate behavior

Behaviors that are not permitted include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Any actions that bully, tease, dominate, or display sexualized behavior towards another person
  • Disrespecting others, crossing personal boundaries, or exhibiting unethical or immoral conduct
  • Use of inappropriate language, including profanity, slurs, insults or anything other language that could be hurtful or harmful to another person
  • Possession or consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs, including the use of tobacco by a minor
  • Possession or use of harmful objects with the intent to harm or intimidate others (e.g., weapons, fireworks, etc.)
  • Using cameras, videos, or any other type of recording devices in private areas, such as bathrooms, changing/locker rooms, or shower facilities
  • Being in spaces that are not permitted or off-limits, such as unsupervised or unauthorized spaces, etc.
  • Destruction or theft of property
  • Other conduct determined to be inappropriate for youth development

Disability Accommodations Policy

We are committed to the full accessibility of our campus, programs and activities to individuals with disabilities as described in the Disability Accommodations Policy.  Should your child need accommodations while participating in a Covered Activity, you can work with the Covered Activity Staff in advance to explore reasonable accommodations.  Individuals requiring accommodations or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters and alternative format materials, should notify the Covered Activity Staff at least 10 days prior to the Covered Activity start date. Every reasonable effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations in a timely manner.

Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

USC prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation incorporates a university-wide approach to preventing and responding to discrimination and harassment on the basis of protected characteristics (including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), as well as related claims of retaliation.

Examples of protected characteristics include, but are not limited to: race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and military or veteran status. For a full list of protected characteristics, see the Notice of Nondiscrimination Statement.

Additional examples of conduct prohibited by this Policy (Prohibited Conduct) include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal harassment based on one’s protected characteristic, such as offensive or inappropriate comments or jokes, or constant misgendering of a person (which means referring to another person using the incorrect pronouns).
  • Physical harassment of someone based on a protected characteristic, including unwanted touching, property damage, or acts of violence.
  • Visual or written harassment targeting someone based on a protected characteristic, such as offensive or inappropriate symbols or by using electronic information technology like email, text message, or social media.
  • Having or attempting to have sexual contact with another individual without their consent or where the individual cannot consent because of age or temporary or permanent mental capacity (i.e., sexual assault).
  • Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress (i.e., stalking).
  • Denying someone access to housing, restrooms, or locker room facilities that align with their gender identity or requiring them (for example, someone who identifies as transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming, or nonbinary) to only use single-user facilities when others are not required to do so.

For a full list of protected characteristics and types of Prohibited Conduct, including definitions, please review USC’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.