6.7 Minors Policy

Proposed: 08/31/2016
Adopted: 09/30/2016
Last Reviewed: 07/31/2018
Effective: 10/30/2016
Amended: 01/30/2020
Amendment Effective: 03/13/2020







Protecting Student and Non-Student Minors on Campus

Middle Georgia State University (MGA) offers a variety of camps, clinics and activities that bring student and non-student minors onto campus. These include but are not limited to athletic camps, after school programs, science camps, aviation camps, music camps, and other enrichment programs. Moreover, through dual-enrollment including the Georgia Academy of Arts, Mathematics, Engineering & Sciences, the MGA student body includes minors who participate in both academic programs and co-curricular activities, such as Registered Student Organizations and International Programs. These programs are of great educational value and serve to benefit both the institution and the larger community. This policy, which is structured by the guidelines set forth in the Board of Regents policy Protecting Non-Student Minors on Campus, includes minors who are MGA students as well as visiting minors. It seeks to promote the safety and welfare of all minors on our campuses.



This Policy applies broadly to interactions between all minors and institution faculty, staff, students and volunteers in Authorized Programs, as defined herein, on property owned or leased MGA or in MGA sponsored programs at other locations. This policy also establishes requirements for non-MGA entities that operate such programs for minors at MGA campuses or on behalf of the university.



  1. Authorized Adult or Program Staff: A person, paid or unpaid, who may have direct contact, interact with, treat, supervise, chaperone, or otherwise oversee minors. This definition does not include temporary guest speakers, presenters, or other individuals who have no direct contact with program participants other than short-term activities supervised by program staff; or individuals whose only role is a participant in the education, services, or programs offered.
  2. Authorized Program: A program, activity, or service operated or sponsored by MGA or by a non-MGA entity using MGA facilities during which agents, employees or volunteers of MGA or non-MGA entity are responsible for the care, custody, or control of participating minors, rather than their parents or guardians. For the purpose of this policy, Authorized Programs do not include events that are open to the general public and that minors may attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians; supervised research activities; or other programs that may be designated from time-to-time by the appropriate institution official as exempted from this policy, or specific provision(s) thereof, after approval has been obtained in advance and in writing from the MGA offices of Auxiliary Services and Risk Management.
  3. Child Abuse: Physical injury or death inflicted upon a child by a parent or caretaker thereof by other than accidental means; neglect or exploitation of a child by a parent or caretaker thereof; sexual abuse of a child; or sexual exploitation of a child.
  4. Institutional Facilities: Buildings, structures and improvements of all types, outdoor areas, campus grounds, and athletic venues owned or leased by MGA.
  5. Mandatory Reporter: A person who is required by Georgia law to report suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities. Mandatory Reporters include but are not limited to faculty/teachers, administrators, counselors, social workers, psychologists, law enforcement personnel, and other persons who participate in providing care, treatment, education, training, supervision, coaching, counseling, recreational programs or shelter to minors. Mandatory Reporters whose communications would otherwise be legally privileged are generally required under Georgia law to report suspected child abuse.
  6. Minor: for purposes of this policy means any person under the age of 18, whether or not enrolled as a student of MGA.
  7. Signs of Childhood Abuse and Neglect: National guidelines for reports and substantiations of child maltreatment are described in Appendix A.



Any Authorized Adult Program Staff or any other Mandatory Reporter under Georgia law who has reasonable cause to believe that suspected child abuse has occurred, shall immediately report the suspected abuse to the campus police department and the appropriate supervisor or Program Administrator who can take immediate action. It is further expected that any other MGA employee, whether a Mandatory Reporter or not, will also appropriately report suspected child abuse. MGA will ensure that the Division of Family and Children Services is notified of the suspected abuse immediately and in no case later than 24 hours after the Authorized Adult or Program Staff (or other reporter) first had reasonable cause to suspect the abuse.

Emergencies: In case of an emergency, one should immediately call the University Police at 478-934-3002.

All Other Reports of Known or Suspected Abuse or Neglect of Minors: Anyone participating in a University run or affiliated program or activity involving minors or a non-University program or activity operating on campus involving minors who knows, suspects, or receives information indicating that a minor has been abused or neglected, or has other concerns about the safety of minors MUST inform the Office of Risk Management at 478-471-2506 and they will contact appropriate officials/departments they deem necessary.



MGA has established administrative policies and procedures that address the safety of minors on campus including:

Code of Conduct: MGA developed a Code of Conduct for Authorized Adults or Program Staff that addresses appropriate behavior and prohibited conduct when interacting with minors. Said Code of Conduct is attached hereto as Appendix B. All Authorized Adults or Program Staff are required to read and sign the Code of Conduct before participating in an Authorized Program. Authorized Adults or Program Staff should be positive role models for minors and act in a responsible manner that is consistent with the mission of MGA.

Program Registration: MGA established and maintains a registry of Authorized Programs for minors. The registry includes pertinent information about each of the Authorized Programs such as name of its Program Administrator, the number of participants, whether participants reside overnight, and the number of Authorized Adults or Program staff. Programs are registered annually, at least 30 days in advance of program start date, with the Office of Auxiliary Services.

Program Requirements: The following important considerations must be addressed prior to approval by MGA of an Authorized Program:

  1. Training requirements;
  2. Proper screening and background checks for volunteers;
  3. Appropriate staffing and supervision ratios;

     For Camps, ratios of staff to participants will be as required for accreditation by the American Camp Association:

  • 5 years & younger 1 staff for each 5 overnight campers and 1 staff for each 6 day campers
  • 6-8 years 1:6 for overnight, and 1:8 for day
  • 9-14 years 1:8 for overnight and 1:10 for day
  • 15-18 years 1:10 for overnight and 1:12 for day
  1. Safety and security planning;
  2. Arrangements for transportation;
  3. Response protocols for injuries or illnesses;
  4. Response protocols for accusations of misconduct;
  5. Transportation needs;
  6. Housing needs;
  7. Participation requirement forms;
  8. Insurance requirements; and
  9. Licensing or exemption therefrom by the applicable government agency(ies).

Participant Requirements: Parents or legal guardians of minors must sign and submit required forms before minors will be allowed to participate in Authorized Programs. These forms may include but are not limited to:

  1. registration form;
  2. participation agreement including Code of Conduct and Program Policies and Procedures;
  3. health information, including short term medication and/or first aid health record log (if applicable);
  4. emergency contact information;
  5. authorized pickup information;
  6. proof of medical insurance and medical release;
  7. release of claims/waiver of liability; and
  8. media/photo/video release.

Minors on campus forms can be found at the minors on campus webpage.

Training: All Authorized Adults or Program Staff shall receive appropriate periodic training on safety, security, and mandatory reporting requirements and procedures. Additional training may be required depending upon the role of the staff member or volunteer. MGA employees can visit the Risk Management website training page to get information on training requirements and where to find the training links and other useful pertinent information that meets or exceeds the minimal requirements set by the Board of Regents.

Screening & Background Investigations: MGA shall conduct background investigations and appropriate screening of all Authorized Adults or Program Staff participating in MGA-sponsored Authorized Programs in accordance with the USG Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual: Background Investigation. Each Authorized Adult or Program Staff must undergo a background investigation at least once every three years. Procedures for appropriate background investigations are found in the USG Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual: Background Investigations.

MGA Personnel. Staff and volunteers, including MGA students engaged in experiential learning through Knowledge@Work, will undergo a GCIC statewide background check conducted by University Police at a minimum. If the unit sponsoring or hosting the program wishes to conduct a nationwide check, it will incur the costs of doing so through the MGA Office of Human Resources.

Third Parties. Non-MGA entities using Institutional Facilities for Authorized Programs are required to certify that they have conducted appropriate screening and background investigations and that the results and methods are sufficient to meet institutional standards prior to the start of the Authorized Program. The cost of the screening and background investigations are to be borne by the non-MGA entity.

Facility Use & License Agreements: MGA requires that all non-MGA Authorized Programs enter into binding written Facility Use & License Agreements which include language requiring the non-MGA entity to comply with this policy and to identify Authorized Adults or Program Staff, including certification that each has been the subject of an appropriate criminal background check with satisfactory results and that each has been properly trained. In accordance with Board of regents Policy, the form used for such agreements must be USG-approved.



Children are welcome on campus when the purpose of their visit is to attend classes or to participate in activities specifically scheduled and designed for their benefit.

Except as described above, MGA strongly discourages employees from bringing their children to the workplace/campus because of the potential disruption of work/schoolwork, health and safety concerns, and liability to the University.

In unique cases where the employee or student has a special need to bring a child to work/campus, they must first get permission from their department head and Human Resources (if an employee) or the classroom professor/Student Affairs (if a student.) Employees and students will not be allowed to bring their child on a regular basis for any reason.

Children of employees and students are not allowed in any high risk areas such as: laboratories, shops, studios, mechanical rooms, power plants, garages, hangars, food prep areas, or any other area containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts or be allowed to drive or be a passenger in any state owned vehicles including golf carts.

During authorized visits, children must not be left unattended or with other employees, visitors or students. Employees are responsible for all aspects of their child’s behavior, safety and financially responsible for any damages the child may cause.

The department head or Human Resources may direct the employee, and Student Affairs or University Policy may direct a student, to remove the child from the workplace at any time if the department head/HR or Student Affairs/University Police determines that this policy has been violated or that the child’s presence negatively impacts the University interests.



Sanctions for violations of this policy will depend on the circumstances and the nature of the violation, but may include a full range of available University sanctions applicable to the individual including suspension, dismissal, termination, prosecution, and where appropriate, exclusion from campus. The University may also take necessary interim actions before determining whether a violation has occurred. The University may terminate relationships or take other appropriate actions against non-University entities that violate this policy. Any MGA event that hosts minors should have a point of contact that reviews the Minors on Campus Policy Acknowledgment Form, signs and signifies that he/she is aware of the policy in full and their event will be in compliance.


APPENDIX A: Signs of Childhood Abuse and Neglect

Nationally, most reports and substantiations of child maltreatment are neglect, followed by physical abuse and sexual abuse.

Neglect occurs when parents or caretakers do not provide proper supervision, control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care necessary for healthy development.

Physical signs may include:

  • Poor hygiene.
  • Inappropriate or ill-fitting clothes.
  • Being left alone or with people unstable to provide proper supervision.
  • Obvious lack of necessary medical treatment.

Behavioral signs may include:

  • Chronic hunger or sleepiness.
  • Delayed language development.
  • Clinging behavior or development of indiscriminate attachments.
  • Frequent complaints of feeling unwell.
  • Frequent tardiness or absence from school.

Physical Abuse is a non-accidental injury of a child by a parent or caretaker.

Physical signs may include:   

  • Bruises, welts, or swelling.
  • Sprains or broken bones.
  •  Burns.
  • Lacerations or abrasions.
  • Bite marks.
  • Unexplained or repeated injuries.

Behavioral signs may include:

  • Attempts to hide injuries.
  • Difficulty sitting or walking.
  • Wariness of physical contact with adults.
  • Reluctance to go home.
  • Depression or self-mutilation.
  • Fear of parent(s) or caregiver(s).

Sexual abuse is exploitation of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult or older child.

Physical signs may include:

  • Difficulty walking or sitting.
  • Torn, stained, or bloody clothing.
  • Genital pain or itching.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  •  Pregnancy.

Behavioral signs may include:

  • Precocious sexual knowledge or behavior.
  • Extremes-hostile and aggressive or fearful and withdrawn.
  • Self-mutilation.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Running away.




Middle Georgia State University (MGA) is committed to the safety and well-being of minors. Authorized staff and volunteers should be positive role models and treat others with respect, courtesy and dignity. Authorized staff and volunteers must abide by all USG policies, state, and federal law.

As an authorized staff or volunteer working in programs for minors, I hereby agree as follows:

  1. I will work cooperatively with youth, families, University faculty, other staff, community members and others in a courteous, respectful manner demonstrating behaviors appropriate for a positive role model. I will exhibit good sportsmanship, represent MGA with pride and dignity and demonstrate reasonable conflict management skills.
  2. I will maintain appropriate physical boundaries at all times.
  3. I will immediately report any reasonable suspicion or knowledge of abuse of a minor to the institution police department and the appropriate supervisor or program director who can take immediate action.
  4. I will not touch or speak to a minor in a sexual or other inappropriate manner.
  5. I will only be present with a minor if there is at least one other staff member with me. If one-on-one interaction is required, it will take place in an open, well-illuminated space where I am observable by other volunteers or program staff.
  6. I will not meet with minors outside of established program locations or outside of established times.
  7. I will not invite minors to my home or other private location or accept their invitations for the same.
  8. I will not make sexual comments, tell sexual jokes or allow minors to access sexually explicit materials (or assist in any way to provide access to such material).
  9. I will not engage or allow minors to engage me in romantic or sexual conversations.
  10. I will not engage in any sexual or romantic conduct with minors.
  11. I will not engage in private communications with minors to include communications via text messaging, e-mail, phone, internet chat, on-line games, any form of social media, or other forms of communication unless there is an important educational or programmatic reason to do so and I am communicating consistently to all minors of the program.
  12. I will not accept or give gifts to minors without the knowledge of their parents or guardians.
  13. I will not inflict any physical or emotional abuse on minors to include, but not limited to, striking, humiliating, ridiculing or degrading. Physical punishment is not allowed.
  14. I will not use, possess or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at any time while working with minors. I will not condone others’ use of alcohol or illegal drugs during the Program/Activity. I understand that MGA is a tobacco free campus and that MGA policy prohibits smoking, including but not limited to e-cigarettes, and tobacco use.
  15. I will not provide or knowingly allow minors to possess or consume alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs.
  16. I will not use profanity, vulgarity, or harassing language in the presence of minors at any time.
  17. I will not provide transportation to minors unless doing so in an acknowledged component of the program. When transporting minors, more than one volunteer or program staff must be present in the vehicle, except when multiple children/teens will be in the vehicle at all times through the transportation. I will not transport a minor without parent/guardian consent.
  18. The privacy of all individuals should be resected in situations such as toileting, showering and changing clothes. When it is necessary to supervise minors, at least two Staff should be present and only to the extent that the health and/or safety requires.
  19. I will not touch minors in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate. I will always avoid touching areas that are normally covered by swimsuits. When hugging is appropriate, I will hug from the side over the shoulders, not from the front.
  20. When supervising overnight activities, I will not share sleeping areas with minors.
  21. Photographing minors is prohibited, except for the Program/Activity-related purposes where the parent or guardian has executed a Photo and Media Release. Use of any device capable of recording visual images in shower areas, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected is strictly prohibited.
  22. I will only administer medication to a minor in accordance with the parent/guardian’s written instructions. I will not provide or administer medication without first consulting the Program/Activity Administrator.
  23. I will comply with MGA’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment policy (MGA Policy Manual 6.5)
  24. I understand that hazing initiations are prohibited and I will not include them as part of any Program/Activity
  25. I will report any accident, injury or illness of a minor immediately to the Program/Activity Administrator.
  26. I understand that all staff are considered mandatory reporters under the MGA Policy 6.7 Minor’s Policy and must report incidents involving sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor immediately to the Program/Activity Administrator, the MGA Police Department, AND the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).

My signature confirms that I have read and understand this Code of Conduct. My signature further confirms that I agree to abide by this Code of Conduct. Failure to abide by this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action or sanctions against me, including but not limited to, removal from the Program/Activity, exclusion from future Programs/Activities, termination, and or criminal prosecution.



Printed Name


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