Protection of Minors Online
Due to the necessity of protecting minors during COVID-19 and keeping in compliance with state and federal guidelines for the health and safety of our community with social distancing, many activities and programs at Mines are moving to a virtual environment. As such, we would like to provide the following guidance to help protect minors in online programs.
Read the Policy on the Protection of Minors.
Reporting requirements per the policy (see link above) still apply.
Background checks per the policy (see link above) still apply.
Training and Online Safety
All training requirements per the policy (see link above) still apply. Additionally, please ensure that all volunteers and employees are familiar with online safety, security and cyber-bullying.
- Zoom Privacy and Security (Mines ITS Department)
- Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classroom (Zoom)
- Guide to Zoom Security and Safety (Zoom)
- Bullying and Cyber-bullying (SchoolSafety.gov)
Setting up an Online Program
When setting up your online program with a virtual classroom through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype or other applications, please be aware that each program has different security features that need to be taken into account BEFORE implementation. All volunteers and employees participating in the virtual environment should be familiar with the following features of your chosen application:
- Securing your online session from unwanted/unauthorized individuals
- Administration tools to kick and/or ban someone from the session
- Audio/Video recording settings
- Prevention of screen sharing or disabling participant video/audio
Safety and Privacy Rules
The following safety rules apply to online programs for minors:
- Avoid one-on-one virtual contact with a minor. Please ensure you have at least 2 adults (parent/guardian and/or Mines staff) online during live programs to help supervise content and participant behavior.
- If possible, access to the virtual program must be set so that the program leader must accept each person into the meeting rooms to avoid unwanted guests in the virtual room. Consider only showing the first names of participants while in the virtual environment (privacy protections for minors). Consider, if possible or available, locking the meeting for any late participants (preventing zoom bombing).
- If you separate participants into separate “rooms”, please ensure that you have at least one adult monitoring each separate “room.”
- Avoid private direct messaging, texting, chatting or personal emails between a minor and a program supervisor or online teacher. Group messages and posts are acceptable and must be viewable by all participants.
- Do not share your personal, non-Mines email address, social media username (e.g., a Twitter handle) or telephone number with a minor. Provide your Mines email address and contact information to the minor’s parent or legal guardian only.
- Minors may not engage in activities involving hazardous material (chemical, biological, etc) or work with mechanical tools at home during an online program without direct parent/guardian supervision.
- Parents/guardians must be provided with access information for all virtual meetings and programs.
- For participants aged 12 years old or less, please ensure that a parent or legal guardian will supervise the activity.
Recording of Online Sessions
If program administrators wish to record an online session, they must obtain the consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian. Program administrators may not record online sessions to their personal computer or device.
The procedures for reporting abuse and neglect remain the same for online programs. Please see Mines’ Protection of Minors Policy. Program administrators should ensure that employees and volunteers are familiar with Mines’ reporting procedures.