Each year Junior Achievement staff shall convey these standards in writing to all volunteers prior to their first visit to the classroom. Staff shall review these standards verbally, as well, with volunteers teaching for the first time.
Junior Achievement (JA) serves youth. JA volunteers teach valuable lessons in their program delivery and especially in their conduct with students. Adult misconduct with or in the presence of youth carries serious consequences. Because Junior Achievement cares that its volunteers have healthy, appropriate relationships with the youth they serve, it has established the following standards.
1. Young people look to adults for examples of appropriate behavior. JA volunteers must use appropriate language and model honorable behavior, such as respect, integrity, honesty, and excellence. Profanity or sexualized language or jokes are inappropriate when working with students, regardless whether it occurs face-to-face, over the Internet, or by any other means. JA strictly forbids violating any state law regarding interactions with youth; for example, providing them alcohol or legal or illegal drugs, or coaxing them into illicit relationships over the Internet or otherwise.
2. Volunteers must take particular care when touching youth. Most adults understand the difference between appropriate physical contact such as a handshake or pat on the back, and contact that is sexual or disrespectful. Volunteers also must be cognizant of how any physical contact may be perceived.
3. Interactions with students must both be appropriate and appear appropriate. It is expected that volunteers’ interactions with students are at all times appropriate and professional, and are strictly related to the role of business mentor. It is unacceptable to seek or engage in one-to-one meetings with students at any time.
4. Volunteers are responsible for the quality of interactions. Students often find it difficult to state discomfort or objections. Volunteers must be especially sensitive to physical and verbal cues that youth provide.
The aforementioned standards do not represent a comprehensive list. Other actions not included could result in suspension or dismissal as a volunteer. JA volunteers also must read and comply with JA’s social media policy.
Junior Achievement takes all complaints of misconduct seriously. Credible allegations of misconduct will be promptly reported to the appropriate authorities. During any such investigation, the JA volunteer will be placed on leave. If an investigation determines misconduct occurred, it will result in the immediate and permanent dismissal as a JA volunteer.
Any JA staff member or volunteer who reasonably suspects misconduct must report these suspicions immediately to the appropriate JA staff person at the local office.
Social Media Policy
Social media (e.g., Facebook) is a powerful communications tool. Junior Achievement USA (“JA”) expects all employees and volunteers to abide by its social media policy in all their communications on any social media site.
JA employees and volunteers must communicate on social media sites professionally and respectfully, just as JA would expect them to communicate were they present in person. All communications with young people must be appropriate, both in terms of the student’s age and the relationship between the adult and student. Profanity, sexualized language or jokes, images of a sexual nature, or similar communications involving adult topics, drugs or alcohol, are never appropriate around students, no matter if they occur in person, in an email or text message, or on a social media site.
JA employees and volunteers must keep separate any social media communications that implicate JA from their own personal communications. Young people may have difficulty distinguishing among an adult’s different roles. Therefore, JA employees and volunteers must presume that any communications with a JA student will be perceived by the student as relating to JA business and must act accordingly.
JA employees and volunteers should carefully consider the implications of becoming “friends” with JA students on social media sites. This is strongly discouraged, due to how dynamic social media sites are and the different maturity levels of adults and youth. If a volunteer must engage with students via social media or other online channels to facilitate delivery of a JA program, it will be in accordance with the rules and privacy policies of those sites and only during his or her participation in JA programs which contain a component of direct volunteer-student interaction, such as JA Company Program® and only if the student is in 8th grade or above. After the JA program concludes, the volunteer will “unfriend” the student.
The following applies to JA employees who post on or manage “Official JA Profiles” as outlined below:
Any social media profile used by JA volunteers, employees, students or supporters that is used professionally, for promotion of JA or for regular communications is an “Official JA Profile”. All Official JA Profiles belong to JA and not to any employee or volunteer. As the exclusive property of JA all Official JA Profiles will be retained by JA when the employee or volunteer associated with the profile ends his or her relationship with JA for any reason. JA retains full rights to all Official JA profiles, regardless of the wishes of a current or departing employee or volunteer who has operated or maintained the profile while working at JA.
Two or more JA employees or volunteers must have access to “admin” status on each Official JA Profile. Each JA employee or volunteer who manages or has access to Official JA Profiles will provide the username and password to the social media profiles to his or her immediate supervisor. At all times during employment and after termination, JA employees and volunteers agree to cooperate in good faith with JA to ensure that JA has the ability to access and control all Official JA Profiles.
Any JA employee or volunteer who reasonably suspects misconduct related to social media or any violation of this policy must report these suspicions immediately to the appropriate JA supervisor.