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Open letter to ALL CORPS DIRECTORS


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I fully support what Newseditor44 posted above.

A large part of the problem is that Drum Corps is a small community, and the large majority of Corps staff/instructors marched or taught with all the other Corps staff/instructors.  It could almost be considered Incestuous.  So, they all have each other's backs, and that is part of the problem.

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Sorry - I know you mean well, but seriously?

10 hours ago, Newseditor44 said:
  • It's time to separate the kids (high school age kids 14-17) from the adults (18-21). Create different divisions for those 18 and over.

For starters, say my 18th birthday falls on July 24th.  Do I switch corps that day?  Or are we banning all applicants from participating in either division if their 18th birthday takes place between date of application and DCI finals?

Who will staff these corps?  No one in the 14-17 age group has the training/credentials to instruct.  And try getting drivers... 

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39 minutes ago, cixelsyd said:

Sorry - I know you mean well, but seriously?

For starters, say my 18th birthday falls on July 24th.  Do I switch corps that day?  Or are we banning all applicants from participating in either division if their 18th birthday takes place between date of application and DCI finals?

Who will staff these corps?  No one in the 14-17 age group has the training/credentials to instruct.  And try getting drivers... 

Yes, absolutely serious. If you’re not able to see the contradictions (kids vs adults mixed into the same “youth” activity… what can go wrong?

A majority of the members in world class corps are 18 and over anyway, it wouldn’t be as drastic of a change as you might think. 

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I agree with much of this but I have a point to maybe add and another for clarification:

1. ALL Corps Directors and another 2 corps staff representatives at a minimum; 1 Asst. Director or instructional staff coordinator or program coordinator AND primary Medical Staff Head. Attend MANDATORY training, actual certified training not a 2hour class, on harassment, sexual abuse, reporting, legal responsibilities, liabilities support, etc., etc, annually at DCI’s January session, prior to winter camps starting.  Upon completion an agreement is signed and notarized that the training session was completed.  This confirms to DCI Administration that all member corps leadership is aware and accepts responsibility that they now are unquestionably responsible for any incidents being reported and know the actions to be taken.  The signed document also outlines penalties and enforcement process for any failure on their part with a zero tolerance condition.  Reps along with the Directors can be included but the primary penalty is aimed at the Director and the Organization.  To participate in DCI events, the document must be signed.  This doc can be created separate from member corps approvals as a condition for DCI Organizations Admin of events.  This document should also be attached to every members contract when offered to them.

2. The clarification:  to avoid any degree of anonymity by anyone or thinking or saying “this doesn’t mean me or this doesn’t apply to me”; the general term “staff” when it is used in the context we have been reading about should be made crystal clear; crystal!  Executive staff, administrative staff, instructional staff, operational staff, volunteer staff, medical staff, marketing staff, and so on.  That way unpaid positions can’t think “staff” means paid staff. It also clarifies distinction between organizations staff levels so in reporting situations,  it is more public as to where an offender is, within an organization.  It diminishes anonymity.  Anonymity is a shield for abusers.  
This is just my $.02.
 

Harsh immediate action in situations like SoA is currently in, is OK by me, so long as due process is followed.  But followed very very quickly.  If what the brave young woman described is fully corroborated, and it is sounding like it it is; SoA gets the death penalty for a 2 season minimum.  All participants are permanently banned from any other DCI affiliated corps.  All participants or anyone not taking action are subject to legal prosecution.  There may be some tie in to a member contract to agreeing to actions taken against them for bad behavior having legal ramifications.

This must be fixed.

Edited by LabMaster
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1 hour ago, cixelsyd said:

Kids are mixed with adults all though life.  

Every time I see that I’m reminded I spent my high school and college days in a Senior corps. And some of the people I talked to and hung with were at least a decade older.

“Age is just a number”.. it’s the maturity level

Edited by JimF-LowBari
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12 hours ago, LabMaster said:

I agree with much of this but I have a point to maybe add and another for clarification:

1. ALL Corps Directors and another 2 corps staff representatives at a minimum; 1 Asst. Director or instructional staff coordinator or program coordinator AND primary Medical Staff Head. Attend MANDATORY training, actual certified training not a 2hour class, on harassment, sexual abuse, reporting, legal responsibilities, liabilities support, etc., etc, annually at DCI’s January session, prior to winter camps starting.  Upon completion an agreement is signed and notarized that the training session was completed.  This confirms to DCI Administration that all member corps leadership is aware and accepts responsibility that they now are unquestionably responsible for any incidents being reported and know the actions to be taken.  The signed document also outlines penalties and enforcement process for any failure on their part with a zero tolerance condition.  Reps along with the Directors can be included but the primary penalty is aimed at the Director and the Organization.  To participate in DCI events, the document must be signed.  This doc can be created separate from member corps approvals as a condition for DCI Organizations Admin of events.  This document should also be attached to every members contract when offered to them.

2. The clarification:  to avoid any degree of anonymity by anyone or thinking or saying “this doesn’t mean me or this doesn’t apply to me”; the general term “staff” when it is used in the context we have been reading about should be made crystal clear; crystal!  Executive staff, administrative staff, instructional staff, operational staff, volunteer staff, medical staff, marketing staff, and so on.  That way unpaid positions can’t think “staff” means paid staff. It also clarifies distinction between organizations staff levels so in reporting situations,  it is more public as to where an offender is, within an organization.  It diminishes anonymity.  Anonymity is a shield for abusers.  
This is just my $.02.
 

Harsh immediate action in situations like SoA is currently in, is OK by me, so long as due process is followed.  But followed very very quickly.  If what the brave young woman described is fully corroborated, and it is sounding like it it is; SoA gets the death penalty for a 2 season minimum.  All participants are permanently banned from any other DCI affiliated corps.  All participants or anyone not taking action are subject to legal prosecution.  There may be some tie in to a member contract to agreeing to actions taken against them for bad behavior having legal ramifications.

This must be fixed.

WGI now requires mandatory "Abuse Prevention Training" for all WGI personnel (including judges and volunteers) along with all staff and leadership of all competing units. There has been talk about requiring this for all members

Maybe the time has come for DCI to do the same! 

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2 minutes ago, fsthnds said:

WGI now requires mandatory "Abuse Prevention Training" for all WGI personnel (including judges and volunteers) along with all staff and leadership of all competing units. There has been talk about requiring this for all members

Maybe the time has come for DCI to do the same! 

Though with all of DCIs talk they were going to implement that… silly me…

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2 minutes ago, fsthnds said:

WGI now requires mandatory "Abuse Prevention Training" for all WGI personnel (including judges and volunteers) along with all staff and leadership of all competing units. There has been talk about requiring this for all members

Maybe the time has come for DCI to do the same! 

Someone I was discussing this with also raised the point that there's no "touring" aspect for WGI either.  So other than the weekend trips to competitions, there's not this constantly away on the road together type situation.  That's part of the toxic stew of DCI as well.  When an Drum Corps Org is on the road, they are the only oversight.  They can do all the training and policy work they want but if they're not following it, it's easy to side step all that and do 'business as usual.'   

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