Social Media Code of Conduct:
House of Eights is committed to a healthy, harassment-free environment. While we welcome different perspectives and opinions, including negative ones, we do not tolerate cyber-bullying, derogatory remarks, harassment, slander, pornography, exploitation, stalking, threats, taunts or burner accounts on our social media pages. Users who violate our code of conduct will be blocked. Repeat offenders will also have their accounts reported.
Anti-Racism & Harassment Policy and Code of Conduct:
House of Eights Dance Studio prohibits discrimination or harassment and protects the right to be free from hate activity based on race, age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristic, by or within House of Eights Dance Studio.
For the purposes of this policy, equity-seeking groups include Aboriginal/First Nations people, Black and POC, women, people with disabilities, racial minorities, the socio-economically disadvantaged, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons.
House of Eights has developed a company-wide policy intended to prevent harassment and bullying of any type, including sexual harassment, of its staff, customers, and clients, and to deal quickly and effectively with any incident that might occur. We at House of Eights have zero-tolerance for harassment in any shape or form. Our culture is based on mutual respect and collaboration. This policy applies to every person in our studio; we are all obliged to comply with this policy.
Definition of Harassment and Bullying
Harassment is a form of discrimination and includes any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you. The assessment of whether harassing behavior has occurred is focused on the impact of the target of the behaviour, not on the intention of the person commenting or acting in a potentially harassing way. The behaviour need not be intentional in order to be considered harassment.
Examples of harassment & bullying that will not be tolerated at House of Eights include, but are not limited to: verbal or physical abuse, threats, derogatory remarks, cyberbullying, or taunts. House of Eights will not tolerate the display of pornographic, racist or offensive signs or images, offensive jokes based on race, gender or other grounds; and unwelcome invitations or requests, whether indirect or explicit.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment has many forms of variable seriousness. A person sexually harasses someone when they:
- Insinuate, propose or demand sexual favors of any kind.
- Invade another person’s personal space (inappropriate touching).
- Stalk, intimidate, coerce or threaten another person to get them to engage in sexual acts.
- Send or display sexually explicit objects or messages.
- Comment on someone’s looks, dress, sexuality or gender in a derogatory or objectifying manner or a manner that makes them uncomfortable.
- Make obscene comments, jokes or gestures that humiliate or offend someone.
- Pursue or flirt with another person persistently without the other person’s willing participation. Also flirting with someone at an inappropriate time is considered sexual harassment, even when these advances would have been welcome in a different setting. This is because such actions can harm a person’s professional reputation and expose them to further harassment.
- The most extreme form of sexual harassment is sexual assault. This is a serious crime and our company will support those who want to press charges against offenders.
Sexual harassment is about how we make others feel. Some may not consider behaviours like flirting or sexual comments to be labeled as sexual harassment, as they are under the assumption that their intentions are innocent and are unaware of the potential impact of their actions. Regardless of your intention, if something you do makes anyone uncomfortable, or makes them feel unsafe, you must stop. House of Eights has a zero-tolerance stance against sexual harassment and assault in any shape or form.
Responsibility of management
House of Eights is committed to
- Preventing all forms of harassment by building a culture of respect and trust; and
- Providing a safe, healthy and rewarding environment for the community.
House of Eights management is responsible for:
- Applying this policy in a timely, consistently, and confidential matter;
- The administration of this policy;
- Reviewing this policy annually, or as required;
- Making necessary adjustments to ensure this policy meets the needs of the organization and the community;
- Taking immediate and appropriate action to report or deal with incidents of bullying & harassment of any type, whether brought to their attention or personally observed. Under no circumstances will a complaint be dismissed or downplayed, nor should the complainant be told to deal with it personally.
Employees, contractors, and volunteers are responsible for:
- Fostering a harassment-free work environment and setting an example for appropriate workplace behaviour;
- Communicating the process for investigating and resolving a complaint;
- Dealing with harassment situations immediately upon becoming aware of them, whether or not a harassment complaint has been made;
- Taking appropriate action during a harassment investigation and ensuring harassment situations are dealt with in a sensitive and confidential manner;
- Treating others with respect in the workplace;
- Reporting harassment to the owner/management;
- Cooperating with a harassment investigation and respecting the confidentiality related to the investigation process.
Students, clients, employees, contractors, and volunteers can expect:
- To be treated with respect;
- That reported harassment will be dealt with in a timely, fair, confidential, and effective manner;
- To be protected against retaliation for reporting harassment or cooperating with a harassment investigation.
How to proceed if you are being harassed
- If possible, tell the harasser that their behaviour is unwelcome and needs to stop. Do so preferably via email or a similar platform so that you can have records of the interaction. (Please do not use this approach in more severe instances of sexual harassment. If sexual assault has occured, please report to management or the police as soon as possible.)
- If possible, keep a record of incidents (date, times, locations, possible witnesses, what happened.) You do not have to have a record of events in order to make a complaint, but a record can strengthen your case in a court of law and help you remember details over time.
- Make a complaint. If the inappropriate conduct does not cease, or if you are unable to, or uncomfortable with addressing the alleged harasser directly, report the incident to management.
If you report sexual assault to the police, House of Eights will provide any possible support until the matter is resolved. In any case, we will ensure you are not victimized and that you have access to relevant evidence admissible in court, such as security video footage or emails.
What is consent?
Consent is a voluntary, enthusiastic, and clear agreement to engage in sexual activity with another person. If consent is not given by both people, it is sexual assault. Consent must be clearly expressed in words and behaviour and it’s important to know that consent is not obtained if:
- A person is impaired by alcohol or drugs
- A person is unconscious or sleeping
- A person is in a position of trust or authority (teacher, coach)
- A person uses intimidation or threats to coerce someone into sexual activity
- A person changes his or her mind and says “no”.
Consent needs to be ongoing; communicating every step of the way. Even in the heat of the moment, there needs to be consent before taking it to the next level. If they don’t say “no”, that doesn’t mean “yes.” Consent is a clear and enthusiastic yes. If someone seems unsure, stays silent, doesn’t respond, or says “maybe…” then they are not saying “yes.”
Internal harassment complaint process
- Once an internal complaint is received by House of Eights, it will be kept strictly confidential. Appropriate action will be undertaken immediately to deal with the allegations. The alleged harasser will be contacted about the complaint and explicitly demand for the behaviour to stop. During this process, if the alleged harasser is an instructor or staff member, they will be temporarily suspended.
- Individual interviews with the complainant and alleged harasser will commence along with any individuals who may be able to provide relevant information related to the allegations. All information collected will be kept in confidence.
- If appropriate, House of Eights will attempt to resolve the complaint by mediation if the complainant agrees to it. If mediation is not successful, an investigation will be undertaken by an investigator designated by the studio.
- If the investigation reveals evidence to support the complaint of harassment, the harasser will be terminated effective immediately and the incident will be documented in the harasser’s file. No documentation will be placed on the complainant’s file when the complaint has been made in good faith, whether or not there was a finding of harassment.
- If the investigation fails to find evidence to support the complaint, there will be no documentation concerning the complaint placed in the file of the alleged harasser.
- Regardless of the outcome of a harassment complaint made in good faith, the complainant as well as anyone providing information will be protected from any form of retaliation. We will also take into account the wishes of the complainant; some might want the matter to be resolved informally and discreetly, while others might expect more radical actions.
Enquiries about this policy and related procedures can be made to the owner/director of House of Eights Dance Studio via email: [email protected]
*Last updated January 2022.