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Can we talk about SafeSport?

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  • Group texts are the way of the future. Get used to it.

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    • Originally posted by RugBug View Post

      You know it's quite a leap to say that a trainer that does those things above is a danger to children, right? Like a huge giant leap.
      To clarify, I was not trying to connect unethical trainer behavior with sex abuse. I was simply pointing out how strange it is that we trust trainers so much with our children when we have such different, much more strict expectations from other adults who are in a position of authority over our children.

      Also, we constantly discuss on this board how to do your due diligence when hiring trainers for horses, when handling sales transactions, etc. But, there's very little discussion about how to do your due diligence to make sure your kid is having an appropriate experience when you aren't there.

      But FWIW, there are many different kinds of "danger." Teens are very easily influenced by the people they are spending time with. I think parents should definitely think twice about who they choose as role models and companions for their children. Being a winning horse trainer does not necessarily mean that a person is an appropriate adult role model out of that arena, or that they are qualified to appropriately supervise/chaperone children and teens. There are other concerns beyond sex abuse--alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, and other kinds of unhealthy relationships.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by AllOverFarm View Post
        Group texts are the way of the future. Get used to it.
        They are. At work we use WhatsApp for group messages for the different work centers, Chiefs mess and the first class mess.

        You can turn off notifications just like any app, so your phone isn’t blowing up every time someone has something to say.

        I’m further perplexed that people feel it would be an imposition on the parents to receive horse related text messages that their kid typically handles, but no one cares that their trainers deal with that all day.

        I also understand texting to schedule lessons. However as a parent wouldn’t you want to know where your kid is? If they are home after school and not the barn because the lesson time slid to the right or at the barn instead of home because the day changed entirely

        The majority of junior lesson programs I’ve seen have set lesson times for kids. It’s the adults that are ever changing because of our work schedules.

        Comment


        • The freakouts are just so frustrating. How hard is it to say, "hey, I have this situation, how can I handle it in a way that makes sense and is compliant and appropriate?" At least start there.

          I am a 4-H leader and the parent of a now young adult. Yes, we use texts. Yes, as my daughter hit 16,17, texts that used to go only to me started going to her and to me. It wasn't a huge imposition for anyone to have these simple group texts and once set up they were easy to manage. More to the point, it made things my daughter's responsibility while also making me aware of the expectations for her so I could be set up to make sure she followed through if necessary, or got the heads up that she would be busy for a bit.

          As a leader, similarly, I always prefer to coordinate with the adult copied because then I know that if I've asked the student to do something that doesn't fit with family plans/needs or there's a conflict, parent and I can talk it out rather than the kid being stuck in the middle. If I've asked for something and the kid doesn't follow through, parent knows exactly what I asked and can decide what is important on their end as far as backing up the request or letting the child fail on their own.

          If the parents don't want the messages, and it's an imposition to send them to anyone else, buy a spare phone in the name of another adult in your organization, and copy them all to that phone that collects them quietly in the office, with its only purpose to be your legal backup. If you have so many minor clients that this is a problem for you, the cost of an extra phone is not a significant extra expense.
          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

          Comment


          • poltroon applying this to the H/J industry is different than anything else. Don’t you know that! I mean the whole world will come to a screeching halt!....... oh wait the world still turns teachers still teach, 4-H didn’t implode, the military still does its thing, all sports are still happening......

            Comment


            • Just out of curiosity, for those whom this directly impacts, how are people beginning to implement the policy and with what degree of rigor? I've already seen at least one trainer on FB note that she cannot accept friend requests from minors, and directed anyone who might want more information to her public page.

              I agree with posters who said that the rules were probably created with other sports in mind which tend to have less legitimate texting and social media-related communication between trainers and athletes, and lack the working student model as part of their programs. Cynically, I wondered if some barns would just ignore this if inconvenient unless it became an issue.
              Check out my latest novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Personal Statements!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Impractical Horsewoman View Post
                Just out of curiosity, for those whom this directly impacts, how are people beginning to implement the policy and with what degree of rigor? I've already seen at least one trainer on FB note that she cannot accept friend requests from minors, and directed anyone who might want more information to her public page.

                I agree with posters who said that the rules were probably created with other sports in mind which tend to have less legitimate texting and social media-related communication between trainers and athletes, and lack the working student model as part of their programs. Cynically, I wondered if some barns would just ignore this if inconvenient unless it became an issue.
                From the fact that it seems the new rules were only announced on Facebook and COTH, I bet there is a significant portion of people who don’t even know the rules have changed.
                Did anyone get an email? I didn’t.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TooManyBays View Post

                  From the fact that it seems the new rules were only announced on Facebook and COTH, I bet there is a significant portion of people who don’t even know the rules have changed.
                  Did anyone get an email? I didn’t.
                  I received an email on May 22nd which included a mention of this rule change. It was part of a newsletter that had about ten different things in it.

                  Comment


                  • This thread is so discouraging.

                    Sexual abuse is rampant. I can't understand why people try to thwart attempts to prevent it in the name of what... convenience? Maintaining the status quo? I don't get it. Do you want people to be sexually abused? Because it's real and it happens entirely too frequently.

                    Like so many others who have chimed in, I'm a teacher and coach. This stuff has become second nature in my world. You don't text/message students privately. You don't share hotel rooms with your students at events. You don't position yourself in a situation where you are completely alone with a minor. It's really not hard to abide by. And you can go "But but but... working students! Young girls will never get to ride and learn!" Sure they will. Ask the parent to stick around. Create a system where at least two "minor" working students are scheduled at any given time. Use a group messaging app like Whatsapp, Remind, Slack, etc. instead of private, direct text messages. And above all, just use some darn common sense. The inconveniences proposed are minor at most. It's 2019 for cripes sake. People need to stop acting like it's still the stone age.
                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                      Despite what the one attorney said from the USEF, I feel like this is meant to be all non-business related texts. It wouldn’t hold up otherwise.
                      ETA: I’m still shocked that people think things like this are a good idea until it applies them. It’s disgusting really.
                      By definition, "business related texts" are clearly not the problem. I don't think "I'm running a bit late, can you lesson at 5?" is a threatening message.

                      I always avoided accepting social media friend requests from the teens at my barn. I'm not averse to posting risqué things or the occasional meme with some salty language and I don't want some kid having it pop up on her FB feed. That said, about 4 or 5 years ago a friend asked me if I would help his granddaughters out with their horses. My horse had just passed and I was unemployed. The girls were young teens with green horses and no idea how to install the right buttons. Great, horses to ride! I taught the kids how to help their horses learn and since their parents were not deeply involved in their riding life, I usually dealt with them, sometimes granddad regarding issues with the horses, who lived at home. I taught them without anyone else being on the farm with us. I replied to texts about the proper martingale or boots and the like. I scurried to the farm when my favorite mare was showing signs of colic at 8:30 and waited there with the kid for the vet. I drove the kids home from granddads countless times. As a long time family friend, it seemed perfectly normal.

                      At the time none of us was a USEF member but it points out that such policing can be absurd, despite the best intentions. It makes me think of a night about 7 years ago when I was leaving the barn where I boarded and realized, at 8pm, in the winter (read: dark) that a 14 year old girl was sitting in the office waiting for her Mom who was delayed at work. It seemed pretty crappy to leave her there alone. I asked the girl to call her mom (who I'd met a few times) and Mom and I decided that I'd drive the girl to their home. In many ways you feel "damned if you do, damned if you don't." What happens when the adult boarder is alone at the barn with the teen boarder at 8pm?

                      What about the 17yo who arrives for her lesson as the only other boarder on the property is leaving? Can she stay? Must she forfeit her lesson because she can't be alone with the trainer?

                      As for the fact that we survived for millennia without texting, yes we did... but now that it's here, we're not going back. When it crosses the trainer's mind that Dobbin needs to be brought in and fed early because a buyer is coming at 6, the trainer texts the working student rather than potentially forget. It's not a necessity but a convenience that we have grown accustomed to.

                      F O.B
                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

                      Comment


                      • There’s always going to be exceptions. There’s always going to be a time when a “rule” gets broken and there’s nothing anyone can do.

                        I feel confident everyone understands that.

                        But you want to use your best judgement to try to avoid a situation where an adult is “alone” with a minor student without witnesses. There needs to be a witness for both parties’ sakes.

                        So a kid shows up early for a lesson, leaving you alone with them. No, you don’t freak out. But maybe you hang in the most public part of your barn until others arrive (as opposed, to say, being alone together in a closed office or tack room). Maybe a kid texts you “running late!” You say, “k thanks” and nothing more and make darn sure you never initiate a text exchange, instead using group texts or a group messaging app. A kid follows you on social media- no big deal! Just don’t start sending them private messages. And if they send you messages, do not reply or simply ask them not to.

                        For the the most part, kids today understand these things. That doesn’t mean they won’t push the boundaries, but if you tell them why they can’t, they get it. It’s the world they have grown up in. Usually it’s the adults who have the harder time grasping it.

                        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by ynl063w View Post
                          Based on some of the responses on this thread regarding the text message topics that some are sending their trainers on a regular basis, I’m thinking that there are a whole lot of trainers out there who are grateful for these guidelines and probably wish they could apply them to adults.

                          How do these trainers ever get anything done if all of their clients are constantly texting them to schedule lessons all the time? Do your trainers not have regular lesson times during the week, where you are expected to show up at the same time every week? Or are you the trainer’s only client so it’s not a big deal for them to hold your hands on a daily or weekly basis? And why can’t these things be worked out in person while you are at the barn so that you can respect your trainer’s personal time? You may think your text messages aren’t a huge pain in the ass for your trainer, but multiply that number of text messages by the number of clients your trainer has and think again about what you’re doing to that poor person.
                          You are totally failing at thinking outside your own box on this one.

                          Like some other have pointed out.... not all trainer's work the same way.

                          My trainer works similar to one posted previously. She sends a text to a whole bunch of people asking if they want a lesson this week (mentioning certain days) and what timing restrictions they have. Then later on you get a message back with 'how about Saturday at 2?'.
                          My trainer comes to me. Weather matters, who wants to lesson outside in a blizzard? I do not board with my trainer so my trainer would have no way of knowing if Dobbin is not quite right this week so I will have to skip my lesson, unless I told them. And their preferred form of communication is texting. I have no way to talk to my trainer face to face unless they come to me or I go to them. Should I just appear at their house instead of texting? I think that is interrupting their personal time more than sending them a simple text.

                          This is not hand holding. It is communication. The system this trainer prefers.

                          Comment


                          • I have a general question about the group texting thing.

                            Does anyone else have issues with their phone when it comes to group texts. I have two friends who have phones that sometimes do not receive them in a timely manner. That is why I ask. Both have perfectly modern cell phones. Sometimes it is up to 24 hours before the group texts come beeping in all at once. They get non-group texts just fine.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                              I have a general question about the group texting thing.

                              Does anyone else have issues with their phone when it comes to group texts. I have two friends who have phones that sometimes do not receive them in a timely manner. That is why I ask. Both have perfectly modern cell phones. Sometimes it is up to 24 hours before the group texts come beeping in all at once. They get non-group texts just fine.
                              I have met people who don’t use SMS data at all or they won’t pay for it do group messaging will not be received. However, that’s where apps come into play.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                                This thread is so discouraging.

                                Sexual abuse is rampant. I can't understand why people try to thwart attempts to prevent it in the name of what... convenience? Maintaining the status quo? I don't get it. Do you want people to be sexually abused? Because it's real and it happens entirely too frequently.
                                Just because one considers a "solution" frivolous (at best) does not equate to "wanting people to be sexually abused". Come on, now.

                                To band-aids, babies, and bathwater I'd like to add another: Bubble Wrap.

                                Even in my most jaded state, I refuse to believe that sexual predators are more rampant than good people, and this pervasive culture of fear is creating some seriously anxious kids. They were born into the post 9/11 era, grew up on active shooter drills, and watched their parents struggle through the recession. They are showing real, clinical signs of chronic anxiety and teen suicide rates are/have been steadily rising. They struggle to manage their own lives and cope with daily adult stressors when they leave home. They are cautious rather than confident when confronted with adversity and generally risk-averse as a whole. Thanks to 24/7 media coverage and general hysteria about everything, they have been made keenly aware of all the potential dangers out there, and that's rather crippling.

                                This is a very real thing, and I was struck by a line from a topical interview on NPR this weekend: "We are 20th-century parents giving advice to 21st-century kids. They've inherited a brave new world that we never lived in."

                                Nobody wants kids abused, but hyperactive nannying is causing a whole 'nother set of problems...

                                Well fancy that, On Point is launching now with an entire episode on the new Safe Sport recommendations, including responses from victims. Victims that told adults what was occuring, and those adults did nothing to stop it.


                                EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by dags View Post


                                  Well fancy that, On Point is launching now with an entire episode on the new Safe Sport recommendations, including responses from victims. Victims that told adults what was occuring, and those adults did nothing to stop it.

                                  And THAT is why we need “hyperactive” nannying as you call it. Adults who do nothing are just as bad as the perpetrators IMO. Maybe people need to volunteer at rape crisis centers to grasp the severity.

                                  Comment


                                  • I find it ironic that people are suggesting apps like 'Whatsapp' as it is an encrypted technology that make sit EASIER to communicate privately with no prying eyes.

                                    And lest we forget, Larry Nassar was able to abuse all those girls..with other adults/parents IN THE ROOM.

                                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                                    Comment


                                    • FWIW, the victims being interviewed generally agree these new regulations don't address the actual problem and would not have prevented the abuse they suffered.
                                      EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                        I find it ironic that people are suggesting apps like 'Whatsapp' as it is an encrypted technology that make sit EASIER to communicate privately with no prying eyes.

                                        And lest we forget, Larry Nassar was able to abuse all those girls..with other adults/parents IN THE ROOM.
                                        Dumb tech question perhaps, but how does the encryption that Whatsapp uses make it easier to communicate privately? In comparison to SMS or other apps.

                                        You can still open your kids phone, the app, and directly go to the conversations. Or be included in a group chat and see read receipts (if on).

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                                          I find it ironic that people are suggesting apps like 'Whatsapp' as it is an encrypted technology that make sit EASIER to communicate privately with no prying eyes.

                                          And lest we forget, Larry Nassar was able to abuse all those girls..with other adults/parents IN THE ROOM.
                                          Group message is the key phrase. Charge the parents and adults who say and do nothing. Easy day. Gives a little incentive to be a decent human being.

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