Independent Minors Amendment

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This is DRAFT amendment to the Policy on Minors. At this time, please feel free to provide feedback on the discussion page. Also feel free to correct blatant errors or omissions within the text itself. If I don't like your modification, I will revert it and tell you why I did so.

Purpose

Pumping Station: One recently implemented a new policy that protects itself from liability by forbidding minors from the space who are not supervised by a guardian (henceforth referred to as independent minors). However some members feel this policy is too restrictive and conflicts with the educational portions of our 'purpose' (as defined in the Bylaws) by reducing educational opportunities for minors. Many events at Pumping Station: One are not dangerous and the presence of independent minors at these events subjects the space to a negligible amount of additional risk from liability.

Examples of events where independent minors are not likely to be injured include talks, classes, and workshops where no or non-dangerous tools are used. Further, several areas of the space are generally safe for children given sufficient precautions are taken. These areas include the electronics area, the crafts area and the lounge.

The real reason I feel this policy is necessary is because The Linux Users Group (which meets at Pumping Station: One) had a 15 year old girl travel for two hours to attend one of our meetings a few months back. From speaking to her mother over the phone, I suspect that her mother was unable to accompany her daughter. The only thing we really do at these meeting is listen to guest speakers and hack on computers. There is not any realistic chance anyone getting hurt. I feel it is ridiculous for us to say that she, and other high school aged students like her, are not welcome at our meetings because there is a minuscule chance that they might be injured.

Upon a successful quorum vote of full members, the Policy on Minors will be updated with the following text. New text is in green. There is no removed text.


Policy on Minors

While PS:One maintains a policy of non-discrimination, legal issues (plus our insurance company) require us to impose age-based restrictions on those the law considers "minors." This policy may be changed by a majority vote of the membership.

Minors may not be in the space unless they are accompanied and supervised by their parent or legal guardian at all times.

Parents/guardians may be required to sign a waiver/acknowledgement of risk relating to their child.

Violation of this Policy on Minors is grounds for immediate banning from PS:One, including permanent banning, of both the minor and his or her parent or guardian.

Events Sponsored By Other Organizations

Notwithstanding the above, on a limited basis, the Board may authorize groups including minors sponsored by schools or similar organizations, supervised by a sufficient number of non-parent/guardian chaperones supplied by the sponsoring organization, to be in the space, if the Board determines that allowing such an event is important to the mission of PS:One and can be accomplished without undue disruption to PS:One operations or undue exposure to liability.

Notwithstanding member rights to 24/7 access to the workspace, the Board may set hours, such as overnight, in which minors, or minors below a certain age, are not permitted in the workspace at all.

The Board may designate minimum age requirements for access to certain areas of the workspace or activities in the workspace.

Events Sponsored By PS:One and Its Members

Also nonwithstanding the above, on a limited or regular basis, minors may be allowed to attend events without a guardian (henceforth, independent minors) where the event is sponsored by PS:One or its membership if the procedures within this section are followed and approval by the Board of Directors is granted.

The host of an event, where independent minors may be present, must submit a plan to the board of directors concerning how the event will address the safety of said independent minors. The event plan must include the following:

A short description of the event including what activities the independent minors may participate in.

  • The minimum age the independent minor must be in order to attend the event.
  • The hours of the day the independent minor is allowed to attend the event.
  • What areas of the space independent minors are permitted to be in.
  • What precautions will be taken in the areas the independent minors will have access to. This includes, but is not limited to, unplugging devices and posting signage.

The event organizers must inform independent minors of rules which apply to them at the start of the event. The independent minor must leave when the event is over or at the time specified in the aforementioned event plan, whichever time is earlier. Two adults must be at the event as long as the independent minor is present.

Steps must be taken to restrict independent minors' access to alcohol. Tours for independent minors must be limited to the areas specified in the event plan.


Event Plan Form

An event plan form will be made available and linked from the policy page to assist event organizers in drafting the event plan. The event plan form's format will not actually be a part of the policy (from a organizational governance perspective). I'll draft the form after I get some feedback on the policy as it is drafted right now.