Child Safety Policy
The Alachua Hare Krishna Temple welcomes children of all ages. Please help us keep the temple a safe and pleasant place for everyone by adhering to the following policies. We care about children, and putting their safety first is a must.
- A parent or guardian must accompany and supervise children 12 years and under at all times. Supervision means that a child is being watched at all times by a designated adult; that the child is within eyesight of the designated adult; that the adult is ensuring the child is behaving in a safe and appropriate manner according to their age and our temple guidelines.
- Please help us provide a safe space while visiting the Alachua Hare Krishna Temple by providing an activity for your child while in the temple room, as well as remaining with your child at all times
- Help children understand: how to behave with respect in the temple room; to sit at the dining tables, not climb on them; where to play and where not to play.
- Where to play: designated playing areas are the field between the temple, Saksigopal’s house and the parking area as well as the lawn between the temple and the pavilion.
- Where not to play: Tulasi pavilion; flower beds; barn; fountain area; in the parking lot/driveway; climbing/breaking trees
- For safety reasons children bicycling, skateboarding, and riding on scooters is not permitted on the temple grounds.
- Children may look at but are restricted from picking Sri Sri Radha Shyamsundara’s flowers.
We love children and want to keep them safe
By following these guidelines for a safe visit to the Alachua Hare Krishna Temple you will help ensure a pleasant time for everyone.
- Temple residents and staff are not responsible for unsupervised or unaccompanied children.
- If a temple resident or staff becomes aware of an unattended child they will try to contact a parent or legal guardian. If unable to locate parent/guardian appropriate authorities will be contacted.
Consequences When the Child Safety Policies Are Broken
When a child is found unsupervised, meaning that a child is found without designated adult supervision; outside of the watch of a designated adult:
- The first time there will be a Verbal Warning. We will look for the parent of an unattended child and state the incident or problem that was observed. We will remind the parent/adult of the NRR child safety policy. A record of this will be kept in the temple office.
- The second time a Written Warning will be issued. Written acknowledgement of the incident will be sent to the parent by registered mail and/or delivered in person. The parent will be required to return a signed copy of this written warning, acknowledging that they have received and read it. Consequences of a 3rd infraction will also be explained at this time. Copy will be kept in the temple files.
- The third time, Restrictions from Temple Attendance will be applied. In an effort to keep all children safe and our community and guest’s experience disruption-free, if a parent is in violation of the NRR child supervision policy three times, the parent and child will be restricted from visiting the temple for a period of time, beginning immediately.
New Raman Reti Policy on Non-ISKCON Vaisnava Groups
Our Position: ISKCON of Alachua, Inc., the New Raman Reti / Alachua Hare Krishna Temple and home of Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara, Sri Sri Krishna Balarama, and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, is a temple within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, as established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya. We are loyal to, preach from, promote the books of, and espouse the teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. We serve within the greater ISKCON society, under the direction of the ISKCON Governing Board Commission (GBC).
Reason for the Policy: It is recognized that spiritual movements will inevitably develop many branches over time, particularly after the passing of the Founder Acharya. Since the physical departure of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we have seen a number of devotees join groups associated with the Gaudiya Math or other Vaisnava groups, as well as those following “alternative” philosophies regarding disciplic succession.
Our Goal: Although Alachua is a large community with philosophical and organizational diversity, our goal is to exist peacefully with all elements. However, to preserve the purposes of ISKCON, certain policy standards regarding activities on Temple property need to be clarified:
Welcomed Activities: All devotees are welcome to come to the Alachua Hare Krishna Temple and engage in the following activities:
- Join in kirtan
- Attend classes and programs
- Take darshan of the Deities
- Offer service as deemed appropriate by the Temple management.
- Leaders and sannyasis of non-ISKCON groups will limit their attendance at the Temple to only taking darsana of the Deities, and taking prasadam in the Welcome Center.
Restricted Activities: No persons shall be allowed to engage in the following activities on the Temple grounds and property:
- Promote beliefs, personalities or organizations that are not directly endorsed by ISKCON and its representatives, or unduly criticize ISKCON and its authorities
- Distribute literature that promote such beliefs
- Influence guests or devotees in the above beliefs/criticisms. This includes inviting congregational members to attend their functions and/or join their groups
- Also, members of non-ISKCON group may not lead kirtan or perform bhajans
Consequences: Anyone in violation of this policy will be asked to leave the Temple property.
Conclusion: In making this policy statement, we are in no way denying the freedom of thought and speech of any person. We respect an individual’s rights to other philosophical positions. However, we are upholding the purpose of the New Raman Reti / Alachua Hare Krishna Temple property and projects, which is to promote Srila Prabhupada’s teachings as enunciated by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) under the direction of the Governing Board Commission.
ISKCON of Alachua County, Inc.
New Raman Reti / Alachua Hare Krishna Temple
Purpose: ISKCON of Alachua County Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Temple”) is committed to providing an environment for our members, directors, officers, employees, volunteers and persons served by the Temple (hereinafter referred to as “Covered Persons”) that is comfortable, safe and free from harassment of any kind. Any type of harassment is a violation of this policy and may be illegal.
Definition: Harassment can take many forms. It may be, but is not limited to, the following: words, signs, jokes, pranks, intimidation, physical contact, or violence. Harassment does not have to be sexual in nature. Sexual harassment may include unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature when such conduct creates an intimidating environment or prevents an individual from effectively performing the duties of his or her position, or when such conduct is made a condition of employment or compensation, either implicitly or explicitly. It is not the intent of the behavior by the offender that determines if harassment has occurred but whether the behavior is welcome by the receiver.
Responsibility: A Covered Person is responsible for helping keep our environment free of harassment, including the environment of Temple visitors with whom you have contact. If you become aware of an incident of harassment, whether by witnessing the incident or being told of it, you must report it to the temple authorities, such as the temple president, or other directors or officers of the temple with whom you feel comfortable. These authorities are listed in Appendix A at the end of this document. When the Temple becomes aware of harassment, they will take prompt and appropriate action.
Complaint Procedure: Any Covered Person, who believes that he or she has suffered harassment in violation of the Harassment Policy, should take the following action:
If you are able to do so without conflict or danger, tell the harasser as clearly as possible that the behavior is unwelcome;
Report the incident to your supervisor. Supervisor will bring the complaint to the Temple President and the Board of Directors.
If you feel that your supervisor or person to whom you report is not taking the complaint seriously or taking the appropriate action the Covered Person may report such to the authorities listed at the end of this document. Upon receiving such complaint, this person will direct the complaint to the Board of Directors of the Temple, and appropriate steps, including corrective disciplinary action should be taken to secure and maintain an environment free of any form of harassment. The Temple’s Board of Directors will inform the person filing the complaint, the action that has been taken, and if no action has been taken, the reason for no action.
Confidentiality: The Temple, including all persons to whom a violation of this Harassment Policy has been reported, and persons who have become aware of a complaint, must maintain confidentiality, to the extent possible given the need to investigate. All complaints shall be considered confidential to the maximum extent possible.
Retaliation: The Temple, or any director, officer, or employee may not retaliate against any victim, or witness, who reports a violation of this Harassment Policy. Any person who believes that he or she has been retaliated against should consult one of the Temple authorities with whom you feel comfortable.
Temple Dress Code
For leading kirtan in the temple room, or offering Srila Prabhupada’s guru puja: men should be wearing kurta and dhoti, or kurta and khaki or yogi pants. Women should be wearing sari or long skirt and dupatta. No shorts, no jeans, no unclean clothing.
For general visitors and attendees:
Please dress modestly for your visit to the temple, keeping in mind this is place to worship God.
Temple Kirtan Standards
Mangal arati: one mrdanga one kartal.
Other aratis: There will be a maximum of 2 mrdangas and 2 kartals (played softly) for temple room kirtans.
Sunday Feast and Sunday Arati and Festivals will have kirtaniyas selected ahead of time, and they may arrange their own mrdanga and kartal players if they choose to.
Do not show up half way through the kirtan and get on a drum or kartals. You need to be there from the start and work with the lead singer.
Kartal playing should not be spread out over the whole room, stay in sync with the kirtan.
Remember to start the kirtan off slow and then grow into a nice dance by the end. It shouldn’t be super fast with bashing of instruments after 5 mins.
Kirtan is for the purpose of glorifying Krishna, it is not a concert for the best mrdanga player or the best singer. The instruments are the servant to the holy name, not the loudest part of the kirtan.