Each Rotary District adopts a Protection Policy to ensure the safety and protection of all children and youth, vulnerable persons, fellow Rotarians and volunteers with whom we interact in our Rotary activities. This policy, which is reviewed by a committee at least annually, includes safety and protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse or harassment and extends to all activities of Interact, Rotaract, RYLA and Rotary Youth Exchange, as well as to other projects and programs of Rotary Clubs.
As District Protection Officer, Gregg Dowty is responsible for developing training materials and providing training for clubs regarding policies and procedures.  Gregg was our guest and speaker on Tuesday November 13.  He worked with at-risk youth for much or his career and brings this experience to his current role in Rotary.
Gregg reminded us of what can happen when abuse allegations are not taken seriously and addressed quickly. He used as example the Pennsylvania-based Jerry Sandusky Foundation which was founded to help at-risk youth and families.  Instead, youth were harmed and the fallout destroyed the foundation, sent a football coach to jail, led to the fall of a college president, and hurt the careers and reputations of numerous others.
The current District Policy can be found on our website at District 7780 Protection Policy  This policy is grounded in the Four Way Test.  It is not just about interacting with youth but how we interact with one another.  Gregg reviewed the extensive definition of sexual harassment and covered who should have a background check.  He also reviewed reporting guidelines which call for a zero-tolerance standard.
A copy of the training package he reviewed can be found on our website at: District 7780 Protection Policy Training  Every Rotarian should review this training package annually. If you were not able to attend our meeting on November 13, please take the time now to open and review this material.