Safe Environment Policy

The National Association of Student Councils (NASC), National Honor Society (NHS), and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all persons participating in programs and activities feel safe and comfortable. Harassment and discrimination are illegal and express disrespect and abuse of authority as well as undermine relationships and interfere with learning and productive work. The cooperation of all student delegates and advisers will ensure a positive experience for everyone.

NASC, NHS, and NJHS expressly prohibit any form of harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, or gender that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an attendee or staff member’s ability to participate in or monitor conference activities or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Some examples of conduct that are not acceptable are included below. These examples are not to target any specific activity but to give examples of types of behavior that are not acceptable. Unacceptable conduct is not limited to those below:

  • Any group or individual activities designed to promote or facilitate inappropriate or sexually suggestive touching of another person or oneself
  • Grabbing, groping, offensive kissing, or fondling
  • Suggestive whistling, leering, staring, stalking, or hazing
  • Foul or obscene language
  • Lewd, off-color, or otherwise inappropriate or sexually oriented comments and/or jokes
  • Harassment or discrimination expressed through slurs, jokes, teasing, pranks, innuendo, or stereotyping
  • Discussions or questions about one’s sex life or experiences
  • Suggestive or sexually explicit pictures
  • Unwanted or offensive letters, notes, voicemail messages, or email messages
  • Sexually oriented or explicit remarks, including written or verbal references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding another person’s or one’s own sexual activities, preferences, deficiencies, or prowess
  • Sexual favors in return for rewards or threats if sexual favors are not provided
  • Sexual assault or rape

Incident Reporting and Follow-up Procedures

  1. Students should report incidents as soon as possible to their advisers (this includes an adviser who is acting in the place of the home school adviser). In the event where the timeliness of contacting the adviser is compromised, the student should report directly to a national staff member.
  2. Once an incident is reported, the student will be separated from the environment or persons involved to ensure his or her safety and well-being. If the correct adviser has not yet been contacted, national staff will do so in a timely manner following this separation action.
  3. The national staff will conduct an investigation of the incident to determine what actions should be taken and if local authorities will be contacted. State law governing each conference site will dictate involvement of local authorities. (In most states, there is a legal obligation to report specific incidents involving minors, and all national staff will adhere to this.)
  4. National staff will review the investigative findings with the adviser and will conduct any communications with parents, school officials, or other parties.
  5. Any person found in violation of this policy has the right to appeal any actions/decisions of the national staff. This does not apply to incidents requiring the intervention of local authorities, at which time state and federal law will supersede any authority of national staff.
  6. The NASSP offices will keep all written records of an incident on file.

NASC, NHS, and NJHS prohibit any form of retaliation against any student or staff member for filing a bona fide complaint under this policy or assisting in a complaint investigation.

A violation of any of these policies and/or guidelines could result in a student being expelled from conference activities for the duration of the conference and remanded to the custody of his or her adviser or sent home at his or her own expense. The national office will notify both the student’s school principal and parents of all such incidents.