Working with Minors Policy

Purpose and Scope

The Juilliard School strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for minors participating in Juilliard programs and activities.

The Juilliard School Working with Minors Policy (this “Policy”) applies to all programs and activities operating under the authority and direction of the School and taking place: (i) on the Juilliard campus or in the residence hall; or (ii) off-campus. This Policy establishes guidelines for Authorized Adults (as defined below) who may work or interact with individuals under the age of 18 in a covered program or activity.


"Minor" for purposes of this Policy means any person under the age of 18 who is participating in a Juilliard program or activity, excluding (i) those enrolled as full time College students at Juilliard; (ii) on-campus guests or attendees at a public performance; and (iii) prospective students touring or visiting the School.

“Authorized Adults” for purposes of this Policy means all individuals, ages 18 and over, paid or unpaid, who instruct, supervise, chaperone or otherwise oversee Minors in connection with Juilliard programs or activities. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, students, parents, volunteers, interns, apprentices, independent contractors, consultants, alumni, guest artists or other personnel who will participate in any way in a Juilliard program or activity that includes Minors.

Guidelines for Programs Involving Minors

All Juilliard programs and activities must comply with the following conditions:

Program Registration

All programs in which Minors will participate, other than programs of the Preparatory Division, whether on or off campus, must be registered with the Department of Human Resources not less than 90 days prior to the commencement of the program. The registration form is attached hereto as Appendix A and must include:

  • A description of the program, including age and number of participants and whether they will be housed in the residence hall.
  • A list of all Authorized Adults participating in the program.
  • A procedure for notification of participants’ parents or legal guardians in the event of an emergency, including contact information.
  • A Medical Emergency Plan, including authorization to obtain emergency medical treatment in the event parents or legal guardians are not available, and disclosure of any allergies or medical conditions that might impact participation in the program.

Appendix A: Program Registration Form


All Authorized Adults must receive appropriate training in (i) maintaining professional boundaries when working with Minors; (ii) protecting Minors from any form of abusive treatment; and (iii) reporting, under School policy, incidents or suspicions of improper conduct.

Criminal Background Check

Prior to being hired as an Authorized Adult, an applicant must undergo a criminal background check, including a review of the New York State Sex Offender Registry or similar registry of the state of the applicant’s primary residence, and a national criminal and sex offender search. All background checks must be performed and approved by Human Resources. Criminal background checks may be conducted periodically thereafter if circumstances warrant. Authorized Adults are also required to notify the program director and the Department of Human Resources immediately in the event of an arrest or the conviction of any crime.


All programs must establish an adequate plan for supervision. The plan must specify the person having responsibility over all Authorized Adults. Supervision plans must incorporate the following guidelines:

  • To the extent practicable, Minors participating in Juilliard sponsored programs or activities copy (other than Minors enrolled in Preparatory Division programs), whether on or off campus, should not be left unattended. Minors under the age of eleven (11) should be supervised at all times by an Authorized Adult or by their parents or legal guardians.
  • When off campus, the minimum ratio for supervision of Minors is at least one Authorized Adult for every twelve (12) Minors.
  • Authorized Adults must inform the program director and/or sponsoring department if using an area other than the one specifically designated for the program or activity.
  • Although 1:1 interaction is a valuable component of certain areas of instruction at Juilliard, Authorized Adults should minimize the amount of 1:1 time spent with Minors outside of lessons and adhere whenever possible to the “rule of three,” requiring at least two Authorized Adults or two Minors in a group at all times. Exceptions to this guideline are health care providers, tutors expressly authorized by the program director to provide private instruction or other individuals authorized by Juilliard to provide counseling, advice, private help or assistance.
  • Private instruction should be conducted whenever possible in a room or other space that is open or that provides for visibility, e.g. the door to the room has a window. Doors must remain unlocked at all times.
  • All instruction must take place on campus.
  • Human touch is a necessary component of many elements of instruction at Juilliard. If a Minor appears uncomfortable with any form of physical contact, the Authorized Adult should immediately cease the contact and report the incident to the program director as soon as possible. Advice on using touch in instruction is available from the program director or the Assistant Dean for Preparatory Education or the Associate Dean and Director, Music Division. Additional information on using touch in instruction can be found in Appendix B to this Policy.
  • The privacy of Minors must be respected at all times. In situations such as changing clothes, showering or using the restroom, Authorized Adults must not intrude except where health and safety reasons require such intrusion.
  • Proper clothing appropriate to the given activity must be worn by Authorized Adults and Minors at all times.
  • Minors should whenever possible be restricted from areas of the facilities where potential safety hazards may exist. Examples include, but are not limited to, mechanical rooms, workshops, construction zones, food preparation areas, or any areas containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts.

Prohibited Conduct

The following practices and behaviors are strictly prohibited under this Policy. This list is not meant to be exhaustive:

  • Communicating electronically with Minors, except through Juilliard’s email system, or when absolutely necessary and related to a particular program or activity in which the Minor is participating. Sending sexually explicit photos or messages and “sexting” is strictly prohibited, as is any form of communication through social media. This includes, without limitation, the use of Facebook.
  • Engaging in the use of, or providing Minors with, alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances, or being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other illegal substances, during Minor programs or activities. This prohibition includes allowing those substances to be used by a Minor in the Authorized Adult’s presence.
  • Disciplining Minors in any manner involving isolation, humiliation or corporal punishment. Any form of discipline must be constructive and appropriate, given the age of the Minor and the circumstances of the situation.
  • Engaging in abusive conduct of any kind, either verbal or physical, toward or in the presence of Minors. Bullying (including cyberbullying), hazing and initiations are strictly forbidden.
  • Picking up or dropping off Minors at the Minors’ homes, except if specifically authorized in writing by the Minors’ parents or legal guardians and the program director.
  • Giving gifts of any kind to Minors.
  • Engaging in sexual activity or other inappropriate deliberate physical contact or horseplay with, or in the presence of, Minors.
  • Making sexual materials or pornography in any form available to Minors or assisting them in any way in gaining access to such materials.
  • Making inappropriate or risqué comments to or in the presence of Minors.
  • Releasing a Minor’s personal contact information to third parties without the written consent of the Minor’s parent or legal guardian. Even with parental consent, a Minor’s personal contact information, including Juilliard email address, may only be released in connection with a Juilliard  sponsored program or activity in which the Minor is participating.
  • Photographing or making videos of Minors for other than program-related purposes. For program-related purposes, photos or videos may be taken only after the Minor’s parent or guardian has signed an appropriate waiver obtained from the program director. Use of any device capable of recording or transferring visual images is forbidden in showers, restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms or other areas where privacy is expected.
  • Retaliating against anyone who, in good faith, raises a suspicion or allegation of inappropriate conduct toward a Minor.
  • Other than immediate family members, Minors participating in Juilliard sponsored programs or activities may not have visitors on-campus, except with the permission of the program director. All visitors must agree to abide by Juilliard policies and procedures. Policy violations will result in the suspension or revocation of visiting privileges.

Reporting Harm to Minors

Any Authorized Adult who has a reasonable suspicion that a Minor who is participating in a Juilliard program or activity, has been physically or sexually abused; physically or emotionally neglected; exposed to any form of violence or threat of violence; or exposed to any form of sexual exploitation, must immediately report his or her concerns to: (i) the program director or sponsoring department; and (ii) the Assistant Dean for Preparatory Education or the Director of Human Resources, who will determine appropriate next steps. Any uncertainty about whether a report is required should always be resolved in favor of making a good faith report. A list of common indicators of child abuse or maltreatment can be found in Appendix C to this Policy.

Appendix A: Program Registration Form

Appendix B: Advice on Using Touch in Instruction

Human touch is an essential component of instruction in dance, drama, and music. For example, to illustrate a point about breath control, a woodwind professor may press on a student’s diaphragm. Or a dance teacher may place a hand on a student’s body to provide invaluable tactile feedback. It is understood and expected that master teachers at Juilliard use touch in order to guide their students toward greater artistry.

The traditions of touch in a given art form may be less familiar to inexperienced students. Instructors in these programs should remain mindful of Minor students’ needs and expectations.

Some basic guidelines can help reduce the possibility of misunderstanding or discomfort:

  1. Touch should always be restricted only to what is necessary and appropriate for the instructional point.
  2. Explain at the beginning of instruction why, when and how you might touch a student. Parents may also find the information useful.
  3. Before using touch, give a verbal cue about the touch and its purpose: “Let me adjust your wrist so your hand stays more horizontal.”
  4. Touching should never take place on any part of the body that would be normally covered by a bathing suit. It is never appropriate to touch someone on sensitive areas, such as a student’s chest, pelvis, buttocks or upper thigh.
  5. Consider alternatives to touch, such as demonstration or verbal description. A description might explain the position or movement of the body part under consideration and of adjacent parts.
  6. If a student seems uncomfortable or expresses any concerns about touch, acknowledge the matter. Immediately cease the contact and report the situation to the program director as soon as possible.
  7. Consider that people experience touch in different ways depending on factors such as cultural background, age, gender and personal experience.

Appendix C: Signs of Child Abuse or Maltreatment

The list that follows contains some common indicators of child abuse or maltreatment. This list is not all-inclusive, and some abused or maltreated children may not show any of these symptoms.

Indicators of Physical Abuse can include:

  • Injuries to the eyes or both sides of the head or body (accidental injuries typically only affect one side of the body);
  • Frequently appearing injuries such as bruises, cuts and/or burns, especially if the child is unable to provide an adequate explanation of the cause. These may appear in distinctive patterns such as grab marks, human bite marks, cigarette burns or impressions of other instruments;
  • Destructive, aggressive or disruptive behavior;
  • Passive, withdrawn or emotionless behavior; and
  • Fear of going home or fear of parent(s).

Indicators of Sexual Abuse can include:

  • Symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases;
  • Injury to genital area;
  • Difficulty and/or pain when sitting or walking;
  • Sexually suggestive, inappropriate or promiscuous behavior or verbalization;
  • Expressing age-inappropriate knowledge of sexual relations; and
  • Sexual victimization of other children.

Indicators of Maltreatment can include:

  • Obvious malnourishment, listlessness or fatigue;
  • Stealing or begging for food;
  • Lack of personal care – poor personal hygiene, torn and/or dirty clothes;
  • Untreated need for glasses, dental care or other medical attention;
  • Frequent absence from or tardiness to school; and
  • Child inappropriately left unattended or without supervision.
Source: N.Y.S. Office of Child and Family Services