PWAC is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our coaches and athletes and, consistent with being a USA Swimming club, adopts this anti-bullying policy.
Bullying by or against our coaches and/or swimmers divers of any kind is unacceptable at PWAC and will not be tolerated. If bullying does occur, all swimmers and parents should know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a coach or a PWAC board member.
What is Bullying?
Generally, bullying is the severe or repeated use of oral, written, electronic or other technological expression, image, sound, data or intelligence of any nature (regardless of the method of transmission), or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at an athlete that to a reasonably objective person has the effect of:
- causing physical or emotional harm to an athlete or damage to an athlete’s property
- placing the athlete in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property
- creating a hostile environment for an athlete at any practice, SAL, USA Swimming or PWAC activity
- materially and substantially disrupting the training process or the orderly operation of any SAL, USA Swimming or PWAC activity (which for the purposes of this section shall include, without limitation, practices, workouts and other events of a SAL and/or USA Swimming club)
An swimmer and/or diver who feels that he or she has been bullied is asked to do one or more of the following things:
- Talk to your parents;
- Talk to a PWAC coach or PWAC board member;
- Write a letter or email to a PWAC coach or board member;
- Make a report to the USA Swimming Safe Sport staff.
Please contact the individual(s) with whom you feel the most comfortable.
There is no express time limit for initiating a complaint under this procedure, but every effort should be made to bring the complaint to the attention of a PWAC coach or PWAC board member as soon as possible to make sure that memories are fresh and behavior can be accurately recalled and the bullying behavior can be stopped as soon as possible. In response to a report, PWAC will take appropriate steps to inquire, investigate and stop any bullying or other inappropriate conduct and will take such other action as appropriate to remedy the situation
Electronic Communication Policy
PWAC recognizes the prevalence of social media in today’s world. Many of our swimmers use these means as their primary method of communication. While PWAC acknowledges the value of these methods of communication, PWAC also realizes that there are associated risks that must be considered when adults use these methods to communicate with minors.
All communications between a coach or other adult and an athlete must be professional in nature and for the purpose of communicating information about team activities. The content and intent of all electronic communications must adhere to the USA Swimming Code of Conduct regarding Athlete Protection.
For example, as with any communication with an athlete, electronic communication should not contain or relate to any of the following:
- drugs or alcohol use;
- sexually oriented conversation; sexually explicit language; sexual activity;
- the adult’s personal life , social activities, relationship or family issues, or personal problems; and
- inappropriate or sexually explicit pictures
- Note: Any communication concerning an athlete’s personal life, social activities, relationship or family issues or personal problems must be transparent, accessible and professional.
Whether one is an athlete, coach, board member or parent, the guiding principle to always use in communication is to ask: “Is this communication something that someone else would find appropriate or acceptable in a face---to---face meeting?” or “Is this something you would be comfortable saying out loud to the intended recipient of your communication in front of the intended recipient’s parents, the coaching staff, PWAC board, or other athletes?”
With respect to electronic communications, a simple test that can be used in most cases is whether the electronic communication with swimmers is Transparent, Accessible and Professional.
Transparent: All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be transparent. Your communication should not only be clear and direct, but also free of hidden meanings, innuendo and expectations.
Accessible: All electronic communication between coaches and athletes should be considered a matter of record and part of PWAC’s records. Whenever possible, include another coach or parent in the communication so that there is no question regarding accessibility.
Professional: All electronic communication between a coach and an athlete should be conducted professionally as a representative of PWAC. This includes word choices, tone, grammar, and subject matter.
Coaches may have personal Facebook (or other social media site) pages, but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of PWAC join their personal page as a “friend.” A coach should not accept any “friend” request from an athlete. In addition, the coach should remind the athlete that this is not permitted. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “private message” each other through Facebook. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “instant message” each other through Facebook chat or other IM method.
PWAC has an official Facebook page that athletes and their parents can “friend” for information and updates on team---related matters. Coaches are encouraged to set their pages to “private” to prevent athletes from accessing the coach’s personal information.
PWAC has an official Twitter page that coaches, athletes and parents can follow for information and updates on team---related matters. Coaches and athletes may follow each other on Twitter. Coaches cannot retweet an athlete message post. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “direct message” each other through Twitter.
Subject to the general guidelines mentioned above, texting is allowed between coaches and athletes during the hours from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Texting only shall be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities.
Athletes and coaches may use email to communicate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. When communicating with an athlete through email, a parent, another coach, or a board member must also be copied.
The parents or guardians of an athlete may request in writing that their child not be contacted by coaches through any form of electronic communication.
Regardless of gender, a coach shall not share a hotel room or other sleeping arrangement with an athlete unless the coach is the parent, guardian, sibling, or spouse of that particular athlete.
Team managers and chaperones must be members of USA Swimming and have successfully passed a USA Swimming-required criminal background check.
When only one athlete and one coach travel to a competition, the athlete must have his/her parent’s (or legal guardian’s) written permission in advance to travel alone with the coach.
In connection with team travel, additional guidelines will be provided to team members
Misconduct Reporting Policy
USA Swimming Reporting Procedure
It is every member’s responsibility to promptly report any incident regarding sexual misconduct by a member as described above to USA Swimming’s Athlete Protection Officer. Reporting must occur when an individual has firsthand knowledge of misconduct or where specific and credible information has been received from a victim or knowledgeable third party. Pennsylvania state reporting laws must also be observed.
No member shall retaliate against any individual who has made a good faith report under this policy.
False reporting of sexual misconduct made in bad faith is prohibited.
Neither civil nor criminal statutes of limitation apply to reports of cases of sexual abuse