Policy Title: No Hit Zone Implementation
- To create and reinforce an environment of comfort and safety for children, families 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/students begin to raise their voices, or show other signs of stress and inappropriate behaviors that occur prior to physical discipline.
- The agency 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 children, visitors or other staff.
- If necessary, social services or the executive director should be notified through established procedures.
Procedure: Training and Reporting Procedures
Training and Prevention:
- All staff, children, and adults will be made aware of agency policy that is in place to ensure and reinforce an environment of comfort and safety.
- All adult agency staff and volunteers will be provided training opportunities within first year of implementation and ongoing during training/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 the agency 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 as well as the child, if possible, 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 Protective Services or Law Enforcement in accordance with Louisiana Law 14:403.
- If indicated by the situation, notify supervisor or police for assistance.
- Frazier, E. R., Liu, G. C., & Dauk, K. L. (2014). Creating a safe place for pediatric care: a no hit zone.pediatric s, 1(4), 247 -250.
- Gershoff, E. T., Font, S. A., Taylor, C. A., Garza, A. B., Olson-Dorff, D., & Foster, R. H. (2018). A short-term evaluation of a hospital No Hit Zone policy to increase bystander intervention in cases of parent-to-child violence. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 155–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth .2018.09.040.
- Vaughan-Eden, V., Holden, G. W., & LeBlanc, S. S., (2018). Commentary: Changing the social norm about corporal punishment. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32 (1). DOI 10.1007/s10560-018-0592-y
- LeBlanc, S., Alexander, R., Mastrangelo, M. & Gilbert, H. (2019). No hit zones: A simple solution to address the most prevalent risk factor in child abuse. APSAC Advisor, 31 (1), 37-51.