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TEAM POLICIES

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ANTI-BULLYING POLICY AND ACTION PLAN

Malibu Canyon Aquatics (hereafter referred as MACA) maintains a zero-tolerance policy for bullying behavoir and expects all athletes to demonstrate team core values; Honor, Humility and Discipline in and out of the pool. MACA is committed to providing a safe, caring and friendly environment for all of our members. If bullying does occur, all athletes 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 parent.

 

Objectives

  • To make it clear that MACA will not tolerate bullying in any form.

  • To define bullying and give all coaches, parents, and swimmers a good understanding of what bullying is.

  • To make it known to all parents, swimmers, and coaching staff there are a policies and protocols in place when any bullying issues arise.

  • To make sure how to report bullying is clear and understandable.

  • To spread the word that MACA takes bullying seriously and that all swimmers and parents can be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.

What is bullying?

The USA Swimming Code of Conduct prohibits bullying. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time. There are several types of bullying:

 

Verbal bullying; Saying or writing foul things.

  1. Teasing

  2. Name-calling

  3. Inappropriate sexual comments

  4. Taunting

  5. Threatening to cause harm

   

Social bullying; Hurting someone’s reputation or relationships.

  1. Leaving someone out on purpose

  2. Telling others not to be friends with someone

  3. Spreading rumors about someone

  4. Embarrassing someone in public

 

Physical bullying; Hurting a person’s body or possessions.

  1. Hitting/Kicking/Pinching

  2. Spitting

  3. Tripping/Pushing

  4. Taking or breaking someone’s belongings

  5. Making mean or rude hand gestures

 

Cyber bullying; Harassing using electronic forms of contact

  1. Sending spiteful emails, texts or instant messages

  2. Sending neutral messages to someone to the point of harassment

  3. Posting hurtful or false things about someone on social media

  4. Spreading rumors or gossip about someone online

  5. Taking an embarrassing photo or video and sharing it without permission

Reporting Procedure

An athlete 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 coach, or any MACA staff member

  • Write a letter or email to a coach, or MACA staff member

 

How We Handle Bullying

If bullying is occurring at MACA or it is reported to be occurring at MACA, we address the bullying by finding out what happened and supporting the kids involved using the following approach:

 

1. First, we get the facts

  • Keep all the involved children separate.

  • Get the story from several sources, both adults and kids.

  • Listen without blaming.

  • Don’t call the act “bullying” while you are trying to understand what happened .

  • It may be difficult to get the whole story, especially if multiple children are involved or the bullying involves social bullying or cyber bullying. Collect all available information.

 

 2. We determine if it’s bullying

  • What is the history between the kids involved?

  • Have there been past conflicts?

  • Is there a power imbalance? (This is not limited to physical strength).    

  • “Who started it” may not matter. This does not excuse the bullying behavior.

 

3. Support the kids who are being bullied

  • Listen and focus on the child. Assure the child that is being bullied it is not their fault.

  • Work together to resolve the situation and protect the bullied child. The child, parents, and fellow team members and coaches may all have valuable input by doing the following;                           

  1. Ask the child being bullied what can be done to make him or her feel safe.  

  2. Changes to routine should be minimized and he or she should not be singled out. For example, consider rearranging lane assignments for everyone. If bigger moves may be necessary such as switching practice groups. However, the child who is bullied should not be forced to change.

  3. Develop a game plan. Maintain open communication between the coaching staff and parents. Discuss the steps that will be taken and how bullying will be addressed going forward.

  4. Be persistent. Bullying may not end overnight. Commit to making it stop and   consistently support the bullied child.

 

4. Address Bullying Behavior

  • Make sure the child knows what the problem behavior is. Children must learn their behavior is wrong and harms others.

  • Show kids that bullying is taken seriously. Calmly tell the child that bullying will not be tolerated. Model the behavior by using MACA team core values; Honor, Humility and Discipline when addressing the problem.    

  • Work with the child to understand some of the reasons he/she bullied. For example;

  1. Sometimes children bully to fit in or just to make fun of someone who is a little different from them. In other words, there may be some insecurity involved.

  2. Other times kids act out because of something else: issues at home, abuse or other stresses in their lives. They also may have been bullied. These kids may be in need of additional support.

  • Involve the kid who bullied in making amends or repairing the situation. The goal is to help them see how their actions affect others. For example, the child can;

  1. Write a letter apologizing to the child who was bullied.

  2. Clean up, repair, or pay for any property they damaged.

  • Follow-up. After the bullying issue is resolved, continue finding ways to help the child who bullied to understand how what they do affects other people. Praise acts of kindness or talk about what it means to be a good person by using MACA team core values; Honor, Humility, and Discipline.

  • MACA reserves the right to discipline a swimmer for bullying behavior. Disciplinary actions may include suspension or expulsion based on the severity of the case, as determined by MACA staff.

 

5. Support bystanders who witness bullying

There are a few simple, safe ways that kids can help stop bullying when they see it

happening:

  • Be a friend to the person being bullied

  • Tell a trusted adult; parents or coaches

  • Help the kid being bullied get away from the situation. Create a distraction, focus the attention on something else, or offer a way for the target to get out of the situation.

 

ATHLETE PROTECTION

MACA is committed to the protection of its athletes. Working together with USA Swimming's Safe Sport Program, MACA has put in place the following policies.

Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention

USA Swimming and Malibu Canyon Aquatics are committed to the safety and well-being of minor athletes. As such, we adhere strictly to the guidelines and requirements of all rules and regulations set forth under the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies.

Photo/Video Disclaimer

By signing up for Malibu Canyon Aquatics you agree to allow your participating children to be photographed or recorded to be used as a learning tool. In addition, photos and videos of your participating children may be used in advertising or on social media to promote Malibu Canyon Aquatics. We hereby pledge that swimmers names or personal information will never be divulged in advertising or on social media without parents/guardians expressed written consent.

Changing on Pool Deck

In accordance with USA Swimming Rules, changing in or out of swimwear on pool deck is strictly prohibited. Please make arrangements for your child with this in mind. Our Agoura Hills location has locker rooms on site, however the Calabasas pool does not. Please keep this in mind when preparing to come to classes.

 

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION POLICY

MACA acknowledges the value of electronic communication such as texting and social media. In the meantime, MACA also realizes there are associated risks that must be considered and monitored, especially when adults use these methods to communicate with minors.

 

General Content

All communication between coaches, staff, parents and athletes 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

  • Inappropriate or sexually explicit pictures

 

Social Media

Coaches may have personal social media accounts, but they are not permitted to have any athlete member of MACA join or follow their personal page. A coach may not accept any friend or follow request from an athlete. In addition, the coach should remind all athletes this is not permitted. Coaches and athletes are not permitted to “Private message” or “Instant message” each other through social media.

 

MACA has an official Facebook and Instagram page that athletes and their parents can friend or follow 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.

 

Texting

Subject to the general guidelines mentioned above, texting is allowed between coaches and athletes from 12:00pm until 8:00pm and must include a parent. Texting only shall be used for the purpose of communicating information directly related to team activities.

 

E-Mail

Athletes and coaches may use email to communicate so long a parent CCed.

Request to discontinue all electronic communications

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.

 

FINANCIAL POLICIES

Credits and Refunds

  • Any classes cancelled by Malibu Canyon Aquatics can be made up during the month the cancellation occurred as well as the following month, given that the participant is registered for the month the make up class will take place.

  • If your child has not yet started classes, your are entitled to a full refund. You must contact us 3 days (72 hours) prior to the start of class (first of the month).


Cancellation Policy

To cancel a recurring payment, please send a written notification of cancellation to brigitte@malibucanyonaquatics.com. We will accept written notices between the first and the fifteenth of the month prior to when you wish to stop payment. For instance, if you would like to stop your recurring payment for December, a written notice of cancellation will be accepted until November 15th. Any cancellation requests after the 15th will not be granted.

GENERAL POLICIES

Make Up Classes

  • Swimmers are entitled to 2 make up classes per month.

  • Make up classes do not roll over from month to month.

  • For injuries or illnesses, additional make up classes may be given once a doctor’s note has been submitted. These make up classes, if not able to be done during the month the missed classes occurred, may take place during the following month.

  • Make up classes must be scheduled prior to attending class. To schedule a make up class, please email andy@malibucanyonaquatics.com with the day and time that you would like to attend.

Swimmer Placement and Evaluations

The Malibu Canyon Aquatics staff will conduct regular evaluations of every swimmer and keep an ongoing record of their progress. If and when a child is ready to move to the next level the coaching staff will reach out to the family. Please do not contact the coaching staff regarding your child’s placement. All placements will be determined solely by the coaches.

PARENTS/GUARDIANS

Code of Ethics

By signing our Code of Ethics, you have agree to abide by the standards set forth within that document. Failure to do so can and may lead to suspension from the pool and competitions, and/or expulsion from the program.

Parent Viewing Policy

Parents are invited and encouraged to view classes from the first Monday of the month to the proceeding Saturday. Outside of these days, parents are not allowed to watch classes. In order for children to get the most out of their experience, it is important the learning environment remain free of distractions. This promotes an experience in which children challenge themselves more often and risk failing in order to learn and grow. These traits are invaluable to the learning curve of every athlete.

 

The only exception to this rule is if your child is in the Matador level. Parents of swimmers in Matador are allowed to watch any and all sessions. We strongly encourage, however, that once your child is comfortable in their class and with their instructor that you do not watch all classes in order to prepare your child for a more independent learning environment.

 

All of our coaches and employees undergo thorough, comprehensive background checks and have been instructed on the appropriate ways in which to interact with children in the water so they can learn properly and feel safe at the same time.