Bright Line Safety Policies

The first three beliefs and values of Bethany Student Ministries reads like this:

  1. We exist to enjoy & glorify God
  2. We believe that everyone matters.
  3. We believe in being a safe place for students.

Creating a safe environment for students and leaders alike is important for the reasons stated above. If we believe these things, then we need to live them. First, if we aren't creating a safe environment for students, but rather one in which a person could be harmed, then we are not glorifying God and the victim cannot enjoy God. Secondly, in a non-safe enviromnent, we would be treating the victim like they didn't matter because we would have created or allowed conditions in which they were harmed. Thirdly, we would be hypocrites because we said we believed in being a safe place when we actually didn't.

All that aside, it is important to create an enviroment that keeps people safe from harm and also safe from false accusations. The idea of "bright lines" in ministry policies and behaviour is so that people know when someone has stepped over those lines. Thus they need to be clearly laid out so everyone knows what they are signing up for and where the lines in the sand are.

Here are some of the bright lines in our ministry that should not be stepped on or over:

  • Sexually immoral behaviour
  • Living with a partner before marriage
  • Addiction that is untreated or unsupported
  • Any kind of physical discipline of a student by a leader.
  • Inappropriate social media use, including one-on-one extended messaging of a non-family student from a leader.
  • Time alone with a student in places that are not public.
  • Developing an emotional or sexual relationship with a student.
  • Lap sitting or full-on hugs between leaders and students.
  • Driving a student alone (one-on-one) without parent's knowledge or permission.
  • Unauthorized adults in the ministry area.