What Would You Do?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Imagine this scenario: You are a volunteer at a camp that your church sponsors every summer. There is a historic school on the grounds of the campsite, and the campers are gathered there listening to a character talk about what school was like in the 1800s. During the presentation, a child indicates to you that he has to use the restroom. The restroom is in another building down by the campsite. You don’t want to disrupt the speaker or the class, so you quietly take the child out to the restroom. Was this the right thing to do?

The answer is NO. Remember, the Safe Gatherings training says that an adult should not be alone with a child in any situation, including restroom situations. This is for the child’s protection as well as your protection as a volunteer. The right thing to do in this scenario is to have another adult accompany you and the child. If this would create a situation where there are no adults left in the classroom (other than the speaker), then have another child accompany you to the restroom so you aren’t alone with one child. In addition, when the child is using the restroom, stand outside of the facility. This transparency in behavior is a best practice for keeping children and youth safe.