Using discipline wisely for youth serving organizations
Occasionally, staff can make poor decisions in regard to youth discipline. Sadly, Markel has seen claims for:
- Striking a youth.
- Duct-taping a child to a chair.
- Locking a child in a room.
- Forcing a child to do pushups over hot asphalt.
- Depriving a child of water or food.
- Hanging a child by his belt from a coat hook.
- Forcing youth to fight.
- Hazing encouraged by staff.
Staff training on appropriate disciplinary action has improved over the years, but issues during moments of frustration still occur. Work with your staff to follow these suggestions for conscientious disciplinary procedures:
- Engage multiple staff resources to determine disciplinary actions, including at least one senior staff member.
- Document the offense and the resulting disciplinary actions.
- Involve the parents, particularly with repeat offenses or situations that are potentially harmful to others.
- Develop training scenarios to illustrate examples of when staff should call for help.
- Establish a method of getting help or time off for frustrated staff.
- Continually emphasize a positive, open social culture for the club.
Kids act out for a variety of reasons. For the club to accomplish its mission, providing appropriate discipline is one of the keys to creating a fun and safe environment for children.
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.