Author Topic: Proposed Anti-Harassment Policy - open for public comments  (Read 35355 times)


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 165
Re: Proposed Anti-Harassment Policy - open for public comments
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2014, 02:33:49 PM »
Why not incorporate more of the CEDA anti-harassment standard found here
It could look something like this:
"The National Debate Tournament is committed to promoting ethical communication behavior as important part of an activity that maintains a deep respect for freedom of expression. Its members recognize that the adversarial and competitive nature of academic debate places participant students, educators, judges and tournament administrators in the position of having to weigh the merits of competing strategies that may have ethical implications. In recognition that the National Debate Tournament is an association of professional educators committed to promoting a respectful form of argumentation; the NDT recognizes that behaviors which belittle, degrade, demean, or otherwise dehumanize others are not in the best interest of the activity because they interfere with the goals of education and personal growth. All NDT participants should recognize the rights of others and communicate with respect for opponents, colleagues, critics, tournament hosts and audience members. NDT participants should also adhere to the NDT Constitution, NDT By-laws, and local, state and federal laws. Behaviors by any tournament participants occurring at NDT supported, sanctioned or sponsored events that violate this standard of a healthy educational environment should be recognized as “Unprofessional Conduct;” and inconsistent with the mission of the NDT. These actions are subject to sanction(s) by the NDT. The community should continue to emphasize best practices for ethical and respectful forms of argumentation.

It is the nature of the academic debate community to provide a forum for the robust expression, criticism and discussion (and for the tolerance) of the widest range of opinions. It does not provide a license for bigotry in the form of demeaning, discriminatory speech actions and it does not tolerate harassment. Any member of this community who is threatened by discrimination or harassment is liable to be harmed in mind, body or performance and is denied the guarantee of an equal opportunity to work, learn and grow inherent in the above principles. In the debate community, the presentation of a reasoned or evidenced claim about a societal group that offends members of that group is to be distinguished from a gratuitous denigrating claim about, or addressed to, an individual or group such as those enumerated above. The former is bona fide academic behavior while the latter may demean, degrade or victimize in a discriminatory manner and, if so, undermines the above principles. Harassment is a form of discrimination and consists of verbal or physical conduct imposed on the basis of a protected characteristic, that has the effect of denying or limiting one's right to participate in the activity, or creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment that places the victim in an untenable situation and/or diminishes the victim's opportunity to participate fairly. Discrimination or harassment by one person against another is particularly abhorrent when the first person is in a position of power with respect to the second. At the same time, it should be understood that false accusations, whether malicious or fanciful, have serious far-reaching effects. A deliberate false accusation will be regarded as a very serious matter, as will threats of retaliation by the accused against individuals who have filed complaints of discrimination or harassment. In formulating a policy on discrimination and harassment, the NDT hopes to eliminate a rather narrow range of behaviors and actions from this activity. But, we cannot guarantee that the environment will be comfortable for all members of the community all the time. Often, arguments in debate are unsettling and disturbing. When one's ideas are under attack the experience can be both painful and highly educational. The simple fact that a situation is uncomfortable does not automatically make it discriminatory or harassing. In this regard, it is central to debate that teachers and students should be able to take controversial positions without fear, in accordance with the principles of academic freedom. Being able to determine when something is outside the bounds of academic legitimate debate strategy or argumentation, or simple civility and good taste comes with education, experience and social maturity."

The NDT could then go with their committee idea or follow the CEDA standards. It seems like a uniform approach to harassment benefits all participants