[Sca-cooks] Fwd: Please Post to Web and cross-post everywhere- From Pennsic Mayor

Elaine Koogler kiridono at gmail.com
Mon Jul 12 16:28:31 PDT 2010

For those who have wondered, here is the Pennsic Mayor's explanation of the
new policy regarding youth.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <wildecelery at aol.com>
Date: Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 2:31 PM
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Please Post to the Web and cross-post everywhere- From
Pennsic Mayor
To: SCA_Childrens_Officers at yahoogroups.com,
society_youth_forum at yahoogroups.com, JolieH2000 at aol.com,
sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org, Freeholdrk at yahoogroups.com,
SCA-FREEHOLD at list.uvm.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: John Spiegel <vondervelde at gmail.com>

To: webpage at pennsicwar.org; publicinfo at pennsicwar.org;
culturalaffairs at pennsicwar.org; eventresources at pennsicwar.org;
university at pennsicwar.org; aspoint at pennsicwar.org
Sent: Mon, Jul 12, 2010 2:23 pm
Subject: Please Post to the Web and cross-post everywhere- From Pennsic

>From the Mayor of Pennsic 39 Concerning Minors in A&S Classes

Greetings to all from the Mayor of Pennsic 39!

Let me first say that the war is coming together very well and we are
looking forward to many great activities and wonderful memories.

I am writing to clear some air and to take direct charge of the minor
policies at the University. Please note as I continue this letter that all
relevant youth policies dealing with young children are still in full
effect.  (See Rule 11 of the Pennsic Site Rules) I do want to review with
everyone the current policy in the University dealing with the teens (and
twelves J ). Where do we stand today? As of the last update, Minors (12-17)
were allowed to attend Adult A&S Classes if they were escorted by a
responsible adult appointed by their parent or legal guardian. Each escort
was allowed to be responsible for more than one child, but the escort did
have to remain in the class while the minor was there.

The question has come up many times demanding to know why this change is
being made. Well, there are many reasons a few of which I will share here
(mostly to try and keep this letter under the length of my dissertation J).

On March 25, 2010, a post went out from the SCA Board of Directors as
Announcement from the Board of Directors, SCA, Inc.
The directors and corporate staff have the unfortunate obligation to inform
the membership that the SCA, Inc. has been named in a civil suit seeking
damages as a result of sexual misconduct of an adult toward minors.
Unfortunately, at the time the activities occurred, the individual was a
member and officer of the SCA. The SCA clearly did not sanction the alleged
misconduct, had no prior knowledge of the misconduct, and had never received
any complaints concerning the adult involved prior to his arrest.

This suit originated in Pennsylvania, USA, and was filed in January of 2010.
Complete information regarding this suit is not yet known, as it is still in
the preliminary stages.

The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. intends to take all appropriate
actions available to defend itself against the allegations in these suits.
 As we are able, we will continue to update our membership.
Board of Directors
SCA, Inc
As any responsible autocrat of Pennsic might do, I went to my senior staff
and requested that they review all of their policies and procedures to make
sure that we were in complete compliance with ALL youth policies. They did
an amazing job to review ALL Pennsic policy, rules, procedures and
activities in two months in a herculean effort. They could not have made me
any more humble to know how hard they were willing to work. At the May Staff
Meeting held during Aethelmearc War Practice (a GREAT event, FYI), we put
our pieces on the table and created solutions to any problems or grey areas
found. The Division of Cultural Affairs’ policies were found to be grossly
out of compliance, and the staff began working on a fix for them.

As we began to overhaul these youth procedures and policies, we began to get
feedback from a wide variety of sources: Society, teachers, students, past
staff. We discovered that we had grabbed the proverbial tiger by the tail.
We had much larger issues that we had thought at first. Many issues began to
be brought forth. Minors received materials through teachers at the
University that they legally were not allowed to posses. Minors were
attending classes that were not appropriate for their age, and teachers were
unsure of the mundane laws dealing with their topics and Minors (brewing for
an example). Issues were raised about the uncomfortable situation of going
up to a minor and requesting their age (think man in 40’s and girl in teens…
creepy much?). Many, many discipline issues were raised dealing with the
behavior of some teens during classes in the past (I will not innumerate
these to protect the children from embarrassment). With all of these issues
raised and many discussions held, the staff created the only policy they
felt they could legitimately execute with the resources they had. There were
many potential policies put forth, but time and time again the staff ran
into the wall of resources, background checks, and volunteers.

The great thing about SCA people is that when there is a dire need to help
children, people are eager to step forward. We are not a Society of
Complainers, but a Society of Doers. Since our most recent postings we have
had many wonderful people step forward and offer their time to help. These
people (many of whom have SCA background checks) are willing to give up
parts of their vacations to help try to give our University more resources.
So with these new resources, we are able to set a new policy and add a new
service to facilitate our solutions.

New Pennsic University Teen Minor Policy (12-17): (Established 7/12/2010)
Minors are welcome to attend Pennsic University classes. Individual teachers
and classes may have restrictions due to topic, materials, request of
instructor and such. Unruly or disruptive youth will be asked to leave the
class as per Society Seneschal Handbook Policy. Classes specifically geared
for minors are handled through Youth Point and will adhere to all relevant
policies for youth activities. No classes through the University and Youth
Point specifically for minors will be permitted in private camps or merchant
booths. Further, any minor who wishes to attend regular University class in
a private encampment or in a merchant booth must be escorted by a
responsible adult appointed by their parent or legal guardian.

New Pennsic University Service:
The Pennsic University Ambassadors are a group of volunteers organized
through A&S Point to aid teachers and students. They will roam through the
University areas prepared to help teachers if the “Two Deep Leadership
Model” is necessary, aid with basic classroom discipline if required, and
assist all members of the populous to find class times and locations as
desired. Our Ambassadors are there to help with quick easy questions. For
more in depth questions and normal University business, please visit A&S
Point in the middle of the University.

Again, please let me thank all of the staff and volunteers who are making
this new addition possible. If you would like to volunteer to help with the
ambassadors, please come past A&S Point and sign up! Further, if you are SCA
background checked and would like to lend a hand we are in desperate need of
you. Please come past A&S Point and speak to us.

Please note that the Pennsic Book went to press almost a month ago and the
material dealing with this issue will be incorrect. We will make available
at Troll an insert updating this policy, but please know that on this issue
the original published text will be incorrect J.

Master John von der Velde
Mayor, Pennsic 39

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