Transportation Policies: Cheerleading Coach Arrested for Sexual Battery

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Molestation, News, Volunteer Management

Does your club have a policy detailing in what circumstances coaches or other volunteers can provide transportation to players to and from practices or games? What about transportation for out of town trips? Rides to and from practices or games provide the opportunity for a volunteer to isolate a young player and place them in a dangerous situation.

The potential hazards of volunteer provided transportation were highlighted by a recent arrest in Florida. A 27 year old cheerleading coach is alleged to have offered a girl a ride to and from practice. On the way home, he stopped the car, got in the back seat and invited her to join him. The police allege that when she refused, he forced her into the back and sexually assaulted her. The investigation revealed a second cheerleader who has accused the coach of engaging in sexual conduct with her from the ages of 14 to 16. Read the full story here.

Development of strong child protections policies address issues including transportation.  Sound risk management requires not only developing the policies, but also assuring their enforcement.  Let Placek Consulting review your existing policies, or help you put together a complete risk management plan.

Sharing Information Between Clubs – The Case of the Fired Gymnastics Coach

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Screening

One of the great unaddressed issues in youth sports risk management is how we share information about “problem” volunteers and employees. This problem is perhaps highlighted by the recent arrest of an Oregon gymnastics coach.

According to the Mail-Tribune, a gymnastics coach, who doubled as a sports photographer, was arrested and charged with encouraging child sexual abuse and invasion of privacy after a search of his home turned up photographs of young gymnasts in various states of undress. According to the report, the suspect would videotape his photo shoot subjects in the changing room. He was discovered in conjunction with an investigation for downloading child pornography.

The article also reports that the suspect had worked at another gymnastics school and been terminated. The owner of the school refused to answer questions about the reason for his termination saying he was “was fired from SOGA on April 23, 2008 for reasons that were never disclosed… We cannot speak about the charges against [the suspect] and how they pertain to SOGA at this time, per the request of the lead detective.” The article indicates that he was hired with at least one more school, and continued his photography business after this time. He also had previously worked as a coach in southern California. While we don’t know the nature of the initial termination, the silence of the first employer raises questions. Was there information that would have led another school not to hire him? Could sharing information have prevented the crimes he is accused of?

State and national governing bodies should be looking to facilitate information sharing between their affiliate members. This is particularly important in an increasingly mobile society. A local club may terminate a problem volunteer, but without sufficient information sharing, that volunteer may become a problem, and a threat, to another nearby club. Ask Placek Consulting how we can help you achieve this goal.

Read the original story here. Mail Tribune.com