The Quareia Foundation Student and Volunteer Safety Policy
The Quareia Foundation has a responsibility and commitment to ensure that all students and volunteers can walk a magical path safely without being the victim of ‘guru abuse’. While studying a magical path, and joining in student debates, disagreements are to be expected, and disappointments sometimes happen – that is normal.
However, what must never be tolerated at Quareia are abuses of power that manifests as abusive use of students by mentors or volunteers. Such instances have come to light around the world recently in cases involving spiritual, magical and religious teachers, guides and mentors who have financially, emotionally and sexually abused students who are under their care. To ensure this does not happen, this policy outlines what will not be tolerated, what the consequences of such actions would be, and how to report such abuse.
Mentors, Volunteers and Students
All mentors and mentored students must sign an agreement to act within specific guidelines of the student and volunteer safety policy. All mentored students must be given a copy of this policy which also has ‘how to report abuse’ section.
1- Privacy and relationships
(a) Contact details such as physical address and telephone numbers must not be exchanged between mentor and student. If a mentor needs to send something to a student via post or courier for any reason, it must be logged with the Director of Quareia School, outlining date, destination, what is being sent and why.
(b) All communication must be done through the assigned mentor email address and the students email address, and the secure mentoring board of the Quareia Porch forum. The assigned mentor email address is owned by The Quareia Foundation and can be monitored by the Director of Quareia School or a properly designated school officer at any time.
(c) Any physical meeting between a mentor and a student must be logged with place, time and date, and reason for meeting. The log must be recorded with the Secretary of the Quareia School.
(d) Any student can request to be reassigned to a different mentor without giving reason. Should they wish to give a reason, it should be officially logged by the Director of Quareia School and acted upon where appropriate.
(e) Any mentor can request to be reassigned to another student. Should they wish to do so, reason must be given and logged with the Director of Quareia School.
(f) If a close friendship or relationship develops between a mentor and a student, the mentor must in all circumstances resign from mentoring that student and declare their interest to the Director of Quareia School. If this is not done, and it becomes apparent a mentor is developing a close friendship or relationship with a student while still mentoring them, they will be dismissed from the Quareia Mentoring Program and will be asked to resign from all of their Quareia volunteer work.
(i)Friendship is defined as: regular meetings in physical (off line) places outside of Quareia events, regular interactions online outside of the Quareia forums/mentoring system that go beyond casual social media use (such as a mentor using private email, private messaging, private social media regular use). This is to protect both the student and mentor from misunderstandings, emotional manipulation, bribery and any other form of coercive behaviour.
These rules are in place to ensure that predatory behaviour, inappropriate behaviour with a student or taking advantage of a student are unlikely to happen.
Residentials are situations where predatory, inappropriate, or illegal behaviour can manifest if allowed to, not only between volunteers, mentors, and students, but also between students themselves. Such predatory behaviour includes but is not limited to:
(a) Sexual advances or assaults
(b) Asking for money
(c) Bullying or threatening behaviour
(d) Intimidating or belittling
(e) Offering ‘advanced secret knowledge’ in exchange for something
(f) Invasive personal questioning
(g) Found in possession of, or offering to others illegal substances
(h) Physical assault
Anyone found behaving in any such manner as outlined above, or in a similar way, will be asked to leave the building immediately at their own cost. They will no longer be considered a member, volunteer, mentor or student of The Quareia Foundation, and where necessary in the case of physical or sexual assault, illegal substances, or theft, they will be reported to the police.
(a) What to expect from a mentor or volunteer
They are there to guide your study and check your work
They can point you in the direction of further study in different subjects
They can help you find various tools and resources
They can help you with practical advice on travel etc to residentials
Any interaction between the mentor and student should be online and through official Quareia channels, with the exception of residentials or conferences.
(b) What you should never expect from a mentor or volunteer
They must never demand or try to illicit money, gifts or favours from you
They must never offer you ‘secrets’ or ‘special training’; no one is favoured in Quareia training – everyone receives the same attention.
They must never offer to spend physical time with you to ‘help you study’ or for any other reason. Keeping a distance between mentor and student is important for study integrity and also personal safety. While we screen our adept mentors, safety is always first.
They must never attempt any sexual or emotional interaction with a student or volunteer either in person or online
A student must never ever be threatened or coerced if the student wishes to withdraw from mentoring or study.
Volunteers are for the most part people who work behind the scenes with The Quareia Foundation, developing IT and web tools, editing texts, sourcing materials for students and helping organise events. For the most part volunteers work anonymously, and unless they are mentors, do not directly interact with students.
Volunteers are at all times expected to:
(b) Not use their status as a Quareia Volunteer to obtain funds or favours from students and Quareia associates
(c) Not use their status as a Quareia Volunteer to earn money, for example by running paid classes, services, or blogs/online pages that generate advertising revenue, based upon their Quareia volunteer status.
(d) To act responsibly and with integrity in all ways when interacting with students.
5- Student, mentor and volunteer Information
(a) Name and email address
(b) Name and address of donors. These details are kept only for donation processing through a third party (paypal). We do not keep a separate database.
(c) Name, address, email address and age of students undergoing mentoring. These are kept in a physical log off line (no online database) which is kept securely in our registered office. No one other than the Quareia School Director has access to them, and they are not handed on to any other party for any reason unless it is a police warrant.
(d) Name, address, email address and age of active mentors. These are kept in a physical log off line (no online database) which is kept securely in our registered office. No one other than the Quareia School Director has access to them, and they are not handed on to any other party for any reason unless it is a police warrant.
Any student, mentor, or volunteer wishing to report an incident (for example as outlined in the above policy) can do so in the strictest confidence to the Director of Quareia School. All such concerns should be outlined in an email and sent to email@example.com
Actions taken should include any or all of the following, as appropriate, to the situation:
(a) Incident entered into the incident reporting book
(b) A trustee assigned to investigate the incident or complaint
(c) Trustees decide action to be taken and report their recommendations to the Director of Quareia School.
(d) Director of Quareia School acts upon the recommendations of the trustees, informs the victim of the outcome of the investigation, and of any action taken.
(e) Director of Quareia School supports the victim and provides evidence of findings to the police if a crime has been committed.