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Tekesta Study Center & Kingsland Foundation

Guidelines for Activities Involving Minors

These guidelines apply to all staff and volunteers of Tekesta Study Center &Kingsland Foundation who oversee and carry out activities at Tekesta (or offsite) in which minors take part. The guidelines also apply to one-on-one counseling of minors who take part in these activities. A minor is anyone under the age of 18.

Kingsland Foundation (Kld) and/or Tekesta Study Center (Tka)  has zero tolerance for any abuse of minors who participate in its activities, perpetrated by any adult or minor in connection with its activities.

This Code of Conduct applies to all Personnel of the Kld  and/or Tka and adult participants in their interactions with minors in activities of the Kld/Tka, regardless of whether the interactions occur during or outside of a scheduled activity of Kld/Tka. 

For clarification about any guideline or about anything not specifically addressed here below, speak with the Director of Kld/Tka.

  1. We do not tolerate any abuse of minors in connection with Kld/Tka activities, whether perpetrated by another minor or an adult. Abuse of a minor will result in disciplinary action, possibly including dismissal or termination from Activities of Kld/Tka and the Kld/Tka cooperation with law enforcement.

  2. Whenever an individual adult is with an individual minor, they should always remain in view of other people and avoid being alone in any isolated place. When meeting in a room, they should meet with the door open or with a window in the door allowing them to be easily seen. 

  3. In Kld/Tka activities, priests should hear confessions and give spiritual direction to minors only in a confessional with a screen, in a room with a window in the door allowing them to be easily seen, or in a place where they are in the sight of other people (but out of earshot).

  4. In Kld/Tka activities, priests will not provide spiritual direction to minors through electronic means. Spiritual direction may only be provided in person.

  5. In Kld/Tka activities, no adult should ever be alone with a minor in a bedroom. No minors should ever be in an adult’s bedroom, and it is better if they do not enter the adult residents’ area of a building.

  6.  In Kld/Tka overnight activities, the Priest should have his own bedroom.

  7. Any overnight activities or one-day trips should include a sufficient ratio of Personnel of the Kld/Tka to minors, and never fewer than two Personnel of Kld/Tka. 

  8. In Kld/Tka overnight activities, no adult should share a bedroom (or tent) with minors. Minors should sleep either in single rooms or in rooms with three or more.

  9. In Kld/Tka overnight activities adults and minors should have separate bathrooms, showers, and/or changing areas, or use the bathroom, showers, and/or changing areas at separate times. No adult should use the bathroom, shower, or dress in the presence of minors and vice-versa. Whenever minors need to dress with other minors present, they should be instructed to use bathrobes or at least towels. All showers should be individual showers or have individual stalls. There should never be two minors alone together in a bathroom, changing area, or showering area, unless adults are supervising. Whenever supervision is necessary, at least two adults should stand outside the bathroom entrance, shower room, or changing area, and at least two adults should enter the bathroom, shower room, or changing area together.

  10. In Kld/Tka activities an adult should never be alone in a vehicle with a minor. If adults need to drive minors, there should be a minimum of three people in the car (two adults and one minor, or one adult and two minors). The only exception may be an emergency, such as driving a minor injured during an activity to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care.

  11. Before a minor attends a Kld/Tka overnight activity overnight activity, Personnel of Kld/Tka overnight activities must obtain written approval from the minor’s Parent.

  12. At Kld/Tka activities adults and minors must never taunt, intimidate, belittle, bully or otherwise verbally abuse other minors.

  13. At Kld/Tka activities adults must avoid any physical contact that is sexual or could be misconstrued as sexual. Because in this area, it is better to err on the side of caution, for example wrestling and rough-housing should be avoided.

  14. During Kld/Tka activities adults must not invite or aid minors to smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. The possession and use of marijuana are always prohibited, regardless of its legality.

  15. Personnel of the Kld/Tka activities may exchange activity-related text messages with high school students (and not with younger students), but only after obtaining general approval from the minor’s Parent.

  16. Personnel of Kld/Tka may speak by phone or audio chat with a minor, but only after obtaining general approval from the minor’s Parent. Personnel of the Kld/Tka may interact with minors through video calls only within view of other Personnel of Kld/Tka or if the minor is within the view of his Parent. Prior to the minor completing 7th grade, for each audio or video interaction Personnel of Kld/Tka must first speak with the minor’s Parent before asking to speak with the minor.

  17. Personnel of Kld/Tka and a minor may meet with each other outside of regularly scheduled activity hours, but only after obtaining general approval from the minor’s Parent and only if all other policies are followed.

  18. Adults who participate in activities of Kld/Tka are prohibited from giving individualized gifts to minors, unless a minor’s Parent has approved a particular gift for their child.

  19. Adults or Minors who participate in activities of Kld  and/or Tka must never give or show to a minor pornographic or indecent media or materials. In speaking about matters related to the virtue of chastity, it is best to emphasize the positive aspects of the ascetical struggle.

  20. The access, display, production, possession, or distribution of pornography through any of Kld/Tka property or equipment, or in association with any of its activities with Minors, is strictly prohibited.

  21. Anyone who knows or reasonably suspects that a minor has been abused in connection with any of Kld/Tka activities must immediately inform the Director of Kld/Tka or call the Prelature’s reporting Helpline, 646-742-2741. In many States, the law requires adults who work with minors to report to State authorities known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect. All Personnel of Kld/Tka will undergo training on abuse reporting requirements in their State.

  22. Kld/Tka takes every suspicion or allegation of abuse seriously and will cooperate with civil authorities to investigate suspected or alleged abuse. Personnel of the Kld/Tka are required to cooperate with any outside or internal investigation of suspected or alleged abuse of minors. Failure to cooperate may be grounds for termination from Activities of Kld/Tka.

  23. If a minor says that he has been abused, Personnel of Kld/Tka should listen calmly without disputing the story, ask for pertinent details (who, when, what), and tell him that he will speak to the Activity Director. The minor should be encouraged to tell his Parent. 

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