Policy Title: No Hit Zone Policy in Churches
- To create and reinforce an environment of comfort and safety for members of the congregation and staff.
- To provide clear procedures for addressing situations in which adults are using physical discipline with children, or to de-escalate a situation in which caregivers/staff begin to raise their voices or show other signs of stress and inappropriate behaviors that occur prior to physical discipline.
- The church shall implement a “No Hit Zone” which is an environment in which no adult shall hit a child, no adult shall hit another adult, no child shall hit an adult, and no child shall hit another child.
- The policy will be implemented on all campuses and property including all owned and leased properties, buildings, grounds, and parking lots.
- When hitting is observed, it is everyone’s responsibility to interrupt the behavior as well as communicate system policy to those present.
- Staff will not be expected to place themselves in a dangerous situation by confronting violent behavior; security or police should be notified through established procedures whenever staff has concern for their physical safety or the safety of congregation members, visitors or other staff.
- If necessary, social services or the Pastor should be notified through established procedures.
Procedure: Training and Reporting Procedures at Churches
Training and Prevention:
- All staff and members of the congregation will be made aware of church policy that is in place to ensure and reinforce an environment of comfort and safety.
- All church staff and volunteers will be mandated to attend training opportunities within first year of implementation and ongoing during trainings, and orientation for new staff.
- Materials provided during training will include: brochures, posters, and videos educating on the No Hit Zone.
Reporting and Response Procedure:
- Staff will identify and respond to situations that compromise the safe environment utilizing the education they are provided with.
- The following steps will be taken when hitting or other disruptive behavior is witnessed:
- Respond in a nonjudgmental way.
- Empathize with the frustrations and stress the involved individuals may be experiencing. Remind them that Shiloh Baptist Church is a “No Hit Zone,” that is, no physical violence is tolerated.
- Try to have conversations with the involved individuals out of earshot of others, and if possible including the child, so the individual is not embarrassed.
- Avoid making threats.
- Thank the individual(s) for respecting our policies and offer written educational material as appropriate.
- For children, documentation of the behavior and any intervention/action should be documented.
- If indicated by the situation, notify, Child/Adult Protective Services in accordance with New Jersey Law 9:6-8.10.
- If indicated by the situation, notify security for assistance.