Seattle Cascades Response to Philadelphia Inquirer Article
We wanted to take a moment to assure you that here at Northwest Youth Music Association, and the Seattle Cascades, we hold member safety and the protection of our members and staff from any and all forms of abuse or harassment as a top priority. We applaud the many brave individuals that have broken the silence in the past year and have stepped up to share their stories and experiences.
Even though we had previously taken actions designed to detect and prevent misconduct from occurring, we still have work to do. We are immediately reviewing our policies, practices, and training with the highest priority, to redouble our efforts at identifying and preventing issues before they occur. Further, we are taking immediate steps to be more explicit and clear about how issues should, and will be handled, whether between members, or between members and staff. To that end, we have published a Whistleblower Policy at https://seattlecascades.org/whistleblower. Anyone may submit an issue anonymously through the form on this page, or may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
At Seattle Cascades, anyone working with students is required to pass a background check prior to their involvement with the organization. We clearly state in our policies to both members and staff, that we prohibit and have zero tolerance for any kind of non-professional, inappropriate or otherwise unwelcome interactions between staff and members, or members and other members of any age. Violation of this policy is grounds for termination or expulsion from the organization, and individuals found in violation will be immediately relieved of their responsibilities and their contract terminated, regardless of status, whether it be a member, volunteer, administrator, caption supervisor or director.
Our Board of Directors will continue to review, update and reinforce our policies, procedures and practices to ensure all members and staff who participate in Seattle Cascades sanctioned activities are educated and aware of the potential for issues, how to spot potential issues as early as possible, and how they are expected to handle them. We will continue to work with Drum Corps International and other organizations to ensure that our sanctioned activities take place in a positive, safe and appropriate educational environment at all times.
Please direct questions and requests for public comment to Board of Directors President, Ed Petkavich at Ed.Petkavich@seattlecascades.org.
Executive Director, Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps
Ed Petkavich President, Board of Directors Northwest Youth Music Association