Teen Code of Conduct & Membership Terms and Conditions

Teens & Parents

Teen Code of Conduct & Membership Terms and Conditions


Introduction Dress Code Physical Touch Speech Inappropriate Conduct Alcohol and/or Drug Use Confidentiality Bullying Release Form
Introduction Established in 2007, CTeen is the largest Jewish teen network worldwide. Our mission is to provide a nurturing environment where teens can learn about themselves through giving to others, identify with individuals who share the same faith, and be part of a group that focuses on building core values and stresses positive character development. This code of conduct was created with that mission in mind. As a teen member, you represent the face of Jewish youth worldwide. We expect participants and members to conduct themselves in an appropriate and civil manner, with proper regard for fellow members, staff, and members of the community. CTeen recognizes the need to clearly define its expectations for acceptable conduct at all local, national and International programs. Unless otherwise indicated, this code applies to all members participating in CTeen programs, including local, regional, and international events. All CTeen participants must encourage their peers self-confidence and self-competence, and help their peers grow to increase their potential within their school, family and community. Although many rules and procedures could be written for all possible circumstances, this handbook focuses on situations, which, if unremedied, are likely to be damaging to CTeen participants, yourself included. Dress Code All members are expected to give proper attention to to personal cleanliness. That includes appropriate dress for all CTeen functions. A member’s dress shall not:
  • Include items that are vulgar or obscene
  • Promote and/or endorse the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs and/or encourage other illegal or violent activities.
  • Include extremely tight, sheer and short garments.
During the CTeen NYC Shabbaton: During services, events, or programs that take place in a synagogue, we ask that you modify your dress accordingly. Physical Touch Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and modesty will create a healthy barrier between you, the CTeen staff, and your peers. Touch between teens and staff should be limited. Physical touch, even when done innocently, can be misconstrued as inappropriate. Physical contact between any combination of two CTeen staff members, volunteers, or CTeeners of the opposite gender is strictly prohibited except to protect someone in immediate physical danger, or to protect a synagogue or private property from immediate danger. Therefore, you should:
  • Always ask a staff member or peer permission before touching them in a way that could be misconstrued i.e. hugging.
  • Refrain from any physical touch unless permission has been granted.
  • Any touch that could create an intimate bond between teens and staff members or between peers such as back rubs, lap sitting, or anything of similar nature is absolutely not allowed.
  • You may never, under any circumstances, hit a staff member or peer, or use forceful touch such as grabbing, slapping, or holding them down.
  • Physical contact during activities such as that which would take place in a basketball or football game is allowed as long as it remains of an appropriate nature. Naturally, games in which physical contact is used should be gender neutral.
  • Only touch a peer or staff member in the presence of other adults.
Speech The way you speak to your peers can impact them for a lifetime. Think about what you want to say before you say it. Ask yourself if it is kind, or if it will make a positive difference in a person’s life. Conversations, discussions, and behavior should be modest, respectful, and appropriate towards peers as well as staff members at all times.
  • Refrain from any immodest behavior or speech, and from inappropriate jokes or innuendoes.
  • Refrain from verbal harassment of any kind, such as yelling.
  • Show respect for the your peers and staff with your language; speak to the them the same way you’d expect them to speak to you: with respect.
  • Always speak respectfully when addressing or speaking about your peers, their parents, their schools, rabbis, synagogues, etc. In addition, you should be sensitive to issues that may arise and foster respect for a person’s right to a varying point of view.
  • Applying negative pressure and fear to achieve a desired result is not allowed. For example making a teen feel that he or she will not be accepted if an undesired conclusion is reached.
  • Any verbal behavior that threatens the safety of your peers or staff members will not be tolerated.
Inappropriate Conduct Teens may be subject to disciplinary action, including removal from programs, suspension or expulsion, when they... A: Engage in conduct that is unruly and/or disruptive. Examples of unruly, disruptive conduct include:
  • Using language or gestures that are profane, lewd, vulgar or offensive.
  • Making unreasonable noise.
  • Engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the program.
  • Attending programs or functions without registration or invitation.
  • Failing to obey the directions of professional staff, advisors and/or adult supervisors in charge of the program.
  • Disrespect for professional staff, advisors, and/or adult supervision.
B. Engage in violent conduct such as:
  • Possessing a weapon.
  • Displaying what appears to be a weapon.
  • Threatening to use any weapon
  • Intentionally damaging or destroying, including graffiti, the personal property owned by another member, staff or facility, or rented by CTeen.
B) Engage in any conduct that endangers the safety, morals, health or welfare of themselves and/or others. Examples of such prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to:
  • Lying to CTeen staff or volunteers. Stealing. Defamation, which includes making false or unprivileged statements or representations about an individual or identifiable group.
  • Discrimination, which includes the use of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability as a basis for treating another in a negative manner.
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • Harassment, including bullying.
  • Intimidation, defined as engaging in actions or statements that put an individual in fear of bodily harm.
  • Hazing, which includes any intentional or reckless act directed against another for the purpose of initiation.
  • Selling, using, displaying or possessing obscene material.
  • Possessing, smoking, selling, distributing or exchanging cigarettes, cigars, pipes or chewing smokeless tobacco. CTeen is a smoke-free organization.
  • Possessing, consuming, selling or distributing alcoholic beverages or other illegal substances, or attending a CTeen event under the influence of either. “Illegal substances” include, but are not limited to: inhalants, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, amphetamines, heroin, steroids, look-alike drugs and any substances commonly referred to as “designer drugs.”
  • Inappropriate use or sharing prescriptions of over-the-counter drugs.
  • Gambling.
  • The purchase or use of fireworks.
  • Indecent exposure, defined as exposure of the body in a lewd or indecent manner
  • Tattooing or piercing oneself or others or receiving tattoos or piercings.
C) Engage in inappropriate communications. Examples of inappropriate communications include, but are not limited to:
  • Printing of lewd, vulgar or abusive language on anything that represents CTeen, such as newspapers, releases, and/or clothing.
  • Defaming any person or institution in any fashion via any communication.
  • Failing to receive prior approval for anything printed for or about the organization from the staff of CTeen or its designee.
  • Printing anything that could be considered copyright infringement, either by CTeen or an external brand.
  • All websites associated with CTeen must adhere to all principles outlined in the Code of Conduct.
  Alcohol and/or Drug Use CTeen is a completely alcohol and drug free organization. No alcohol or drug use by members will be tolerated and the following disciplinary action will take place:
  • Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) shall be immediately informed and all parties must be notified in writing.
  • Immediate removal from program.
  • Immediate suspension of no less than 30 days.
  • Immediate removal from all privileged duty, including elected office, at all levels of the organization.
  • Second violation will result in immediate expulsion from the organization.
Confidentiality Your peers may come to you in confidence for help or advice. You are obligated to keep standards of confidentiality with your peers except under the following circumstances: Threat of harm to oneself or to others. Domestic violence, i.e. physical, sexual, psychological and/or emotional abuse or control. Child abuse. Child abuse can include sexual and physical abuse or emotional neglect. Any other situation such as drinking, or drug use that could lead to inflicting harm on an individual or individuals. If a peer or staff member speaks to you in an inappropriate way, including in a way that is harmful to you or others, you are obligated to report it. Bullying Bullying is absolutely 100% unacceptable, either between a group of teens, or between teens and staff members. Therefore you cannot: Use abusive or derogatory language. Subject peers to “initiation” rites, tricks, or practical jokes that are embarrassing or abusive in any manner. Never forbid peers or staff members from sharing any conversations or information with parents or administration, nor instruct peers to "keep secrets" from their parents or guardians. Bullying is not only a face to face action. Cyberbullying is a serious offense, and will not be taken lightly. Always think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone. If you’re being bullied, you should: Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard. If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult or staff member to stop the bullying on the spot. Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone.

Release Form

Please read fully and sign below.

Dear Teens and Parents, Please read over this information carefully. Please sign your name and date at the bottom of the letter, tear it out of the booklet, and return it to CTeen. For Parents: We understand that part of the CTeen experience involves activities and interactions that may be new to my child. These things come with certain risks and uncertainties beyond what my child may be used to dealing with at home. I am aware of these risks, and I am assuming them on behalf of my child. I realize that no environment is risk free and so I have instructed my teen on the importance of abiding by CTeen’s Code of Conduct. My child and I both agree that he or she is familiar with these rules and will obey them. We further understand that sanctions imposed by the CTeen supervisors and staff for violation could include immediate expulsion from the event, at the expense of the parent or guardian. As a member of CTeen: Please read the following information thoroughly before signing. 1. No smoking allowed. 2. There will be no possession or use of any narcotics, marijuana, other illegal drugs or prescription drugs not specifically prescribed for the user. 3. There will be no possession of any alcoholic beverages. 4. I will not engage in any type of illegal behavior. 5. Any participant caught in possession of or using alcohol or illegal drugs, will immediately be sent home at the parent’s expense if necessary. 6. Participants are expected to dress respectively and maintain proper decorum and attitude during the entire program. Disruptive behavior (including, among other things, inappropriate sexual innuendo) will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. Your parents will be responsible to pay for any damage you may cause. 7. No participant may leave their group except at those times specified by the schedule. 8. Each participant is expected to conduct him/herself appropriately as a Jew during any CTeen trips and events, including the observance of kosher laws, in accordance with the standards of the trip organizers. 9. The Rabbis, Rebbetzins, directors, and CTeen organizers reserve the right to enforce other rules relating to the integrity of the program and/or the health, safety or welfare of its participants. I have read these rules and understand them fully. I certify that I will adhere to this code and will conduct myself in a manner reflecting credit upon my peers, my congregation, my community and myself. I understand that any violation of this Code of Conduct may result in my being sent suspended or expelled from future CTeen events and that any damages I incur will be at my parents’ expense. First and Last Name: __________________________________________________________ Teen’s Signature: _____________________________________________________________ Parents’ Signature: ____________________________________________________________ Date: _______________________________ My signature, and the signature of my parent/guardian, afTeen Code of Conduct_Page_1firm my agreement to the rules and policies of CTeen and this Code of Conduct.

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