Code of Conduct
In order to safeguard Rainbow Girls and their adult leaders, the following youth protection guidelines have been implemented for use by assemblies. Abuse in any form is not condoned by the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. An emphasis on sexual abuse prevention in these guidelines is to assert to any perpetrator that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Appropriate administrative and legal action will be taken as warranted.
1. Appropriate Conduct – It is expected that all Rainbow Girls and their adult leaders will conduct themselves in such a way as to demonstrate the organizational values as set forth through the lessons of Rainbow, and thus to treat each other at all times with appropriate respect and consideration, avoiding even the appearance of favoritism or impropriety.
2. Authorized Activities – The Advisory Board of each Assembly is responsible for authorizing all events. Unofficial organizations as well as “secret” activities, and ceremonies not specifically authorized by the IORG or any Grand Jurisdiction are not permitted.
3. Youth and Caregiver Information – Each assembly is to maintain a confidential record of contact information for youth and their parents or guardians, including those authorized to pick up a youth from an event. Restrictions as to who may pick up a girl from an event should be communicated in writing and signed by caregivers as soon as a girl becomes a member, and should be updated annually, or as custody issues change. This information is to be used by adult leaders for safe and effective communication and never released to unauthorized individuals.
4. Parental Notification Regarding Activities – Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate in Rainbow activities and to accompany the assembly on trips and outings. Parents are to be notified in advance of the date and times, location, and purpose for each event. Their formal permission is needed in order for youth to participate in field trips, late-night activities, overnight trips, and other special activities.
5. Chaperone/Member Ratios – A minimum of two unrelated adults, at least one of whom is a female chaperone certified by the Advisory Board, must accompany Rainbow Girls on all trips, outings and assembly activities. The size and particulars of an event may require additional adult leadership to be present. Approved chaperone ratios will be adhered to at all times (Please refer to the full IORG Youth Protection Policy for details on the chaperone certification process as well as chaperone/adult to youth ratios.)
6. Co-ed Activities – Certified male and female chaperones must be present for any co-ed activities, and proper standards of conduct established prior to the event. Parental approval is needed in advance of participation.
7. Safety Rules – To ensure the safety of our Rainbow Girls, a minimum of four individuals (including two unrelated adults, at least one of whom is a Certified Female Chaperone) must be present on any trip or outing. Provisions should be made for ensuring communication capability by cellphone or other device in the event of an accident or emergency. If an accident occurs, one person is to stay with the injured while others go for help.
8. Positive Role Models – Adult leaders must always be cognizant of their responsibility to behave in ways consistent with the teachings of Rainbow, and never discuss matters inappropriate for young ears, such as jokes or stories meant for mature audiences, discussion of private activities and relationships, adult language, etc.
9. Drugs and Alcohol – The use or distribution of alcohol or illicit drugs, or the misuse of legal drugs by leaders or members is prohibited while participating in or assisting in any Rainbow event or while in the presence of Rainbow Girls. Conversation related to alcohol or drug use is not acceptable except in an educational context.
10. Inappropriate Relationships – Adult leaders are expressly prohibited from dating or becoming romantically involved with any youth, and from having sexual contact with any youth.
11. Overall Safety – Dangerous behavior will not be tolerated at Rainbow events. Weapons are prohibited at all Rainbow events. Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure the safety of Rainbow members and leaders.
12. Illicit Media - All sexually oriented materials (magazines, cards, videos, films, clothing etc.) are prohibited at Rainbow events. Use of the Internet to view or download sexually oriented materials is prohibited during any event or in the presence of any Rainbow youth.
13. Photographs, Videography, and other Media – Representation of Rainbow Girls should be consistent with the values of our organization and should not be taken, shared or published without the written release of the subjects. In the case of minors, a written release must be signed by their parents or legal guardians before their image is published or displayed.
14. Proper Attire – Members should remain properly attired at all times, and adult leaders must not allow or condone activities such as group nudity, skinny-dipping, mooning or other inappropriate exposure.
15. Discipline – Only constructive, respectful, and non-physical discipline intended to instruct and demonstrate appropriate correction is permitted. Degrading punishment, any form of restraint, or physical discipline for behavior management is prohibited. Belittling or disparaging remarks and verbal abuse are not sanctioned in any form by the IORG or any Grand Jurisdiction.
16. Unacceptable Behavior – No form of harassment, hazing, or bullying is to be permitted by adult or youth. Additionally, adult leaders should avoid unnecessary physical contact, including (but not limited to) back rubs, tickling, patting of buttocks, wrestling, or bear hugs.
17. Physical Contact – Appropriate physical contact includes hand-shaking, high-fives, shoulder hugs (if acceptable to recipient), pat on the shoulder or other similar non-intrusive expressions of appreciation.
18. One-on-One Contacts – For the protection of both youth and adults, no one-on-one activities between adults and Rainbow Girls are allowed. Should privacy be required for a confidential conversation, the interaction should be observable and interruptible, i.e. out of hearing range of others yet still within their view.
19. Respect of Privacy – Adult leaders and Rainbow Girls should respect each other’s privacy. Except in situations where health and safety require their presence, adults should not intrude in changing rooms, showers or other private areas. Adults are expected to protect their own privacy as well, and are prohibited from dressing, undressing, bathing, or showering in the presence of youth. If separate facilities are not available, a schedule for private activities must be maintained. No cameras or video equipment are permitted into changing rooms or other private areas. Cellphones with cameras must be turned off and put away.
20. Activities in Private Homes – Unless authorized by the Advisory Board, no activities involving Rainbow Girls and adult volunteers should be conducted in private homes. Appropriate chaperone/adult to youth ratios should be observed at all times as addressed in the full IORG Youth Protection Policy.
21. Separate Accommodations – Adult leaders are prohibited from sharing a bed, sleeping bag, tent, or hotel room with a youth. Adults are to maintain separate sleeping quarters from youth except in severe emergencies, unless the adult is an immediate family member or an informed consent is signed by a parent or legal guardian. Careful consideration should be given before housing older girls with considerably younger ones. It is acceptable to have multiple female adults remain with all the youth sleeping in one large area such as an open dormitory.
22. Transportation – Anyone transporting a Rainbow Girl is required to have a current driver’s license and insurance, and to follow safe and legal driving practices. Drivers are to be especially mindful of safe practices relative to speed, use of seat belts, texting and other distractions. Parents or guardians must sign an informed consent before any girl is transported by assembly leaders to an event. At least one adult in each vehicle should be a certified chaperone, and no male should transport Rainbow Girls without an adult female present. Parental permission is required for a youth to drive herself and her family members to ceremonies or events.
23. Responsibility for Youth – Adult leaders are responsible for Rainbow Girls and their guests between the times of arrival to and departure from the location of a meeting or event. Proper attention should be given to supervising girls who are awaiting transportation and ensuring they leave with an authorized person (see #3 above). Never leave a girl waiting alone or allow her to leave with an unauthorized person. When in doubt, a phone call should be placed to the primary caregiver for approval. Any time a girl is waiting outside an assembly room, or if she becomes ill or must leave a meeting, she should be accompanied by a female chaperone.
24. Recognizing and Responding – Any report or complaint from a youth concerning inappropriate behavior is to be taken seriously and addressed. Because youth may have difficulty finding appropriate language for feelings of discomfort, adult leaders should be aware of and responsive to the signs of abuse having occurred, e.g. sudden changes in attitude or behavior, avoidance of particular individuals, and so forth. (Refer to full IORG Youth Protection Policy for additional information on recognizing and responding to signs of maltreatment.)
25. Intervention and Reporting – When inappropriate behavior that is questionable but not clearly harmful is observed, an adult leader should immediately intervene to respectfully explain to the observed person that their conduct might be misunderstood. The Chairman of the Advisory Board should then be alerted to the situation. Any observed maltreatment, harassment or other harmful behavior should immediately be reported in keeping with the reporting protocol outlined in the full IORG Youth Protection Policy.
26. Screening and Monitoring – All adults assisting an assembly in any capacity are to complete a thorough application and screening process before being allowed to serve in a leadership capacity. No individual will be allowed to volunteer for Rainbow trips or activities until they have been known to assembly leaders for at least six months. Chaperones must be certified by completing appropriate youth protection training consistent with IORG policies.