Des Plaines Park District

Behavior Management Policy A-24




DATE:                         February 21, 2020

TO:                              All Staff

FROM:                        Carolanne Smith, Recreation Supervisor

DEPARTMENT:        Recreation

POLICY #                   A-24

INTRODUCTION:  The following outlines guidelines for expected participant behavior in park district programs and facilities.  The following behavior code and procedures have been developed to help make programs safe and enjoyable for all participants.  Additional rules are in place for specific programs as deemed appropriate and necessary by staff.


The Des Plaines Park District insists that all participants comply with a basic behavior code.  The following Behavior Code of Conduct will be used as a guideline for Des Plaines Park District program and facility participants:

  1. Show respect to all participants, staff and volunteers.  Participants should follow program and facility rules and take direction from staff.  Participation is required in program activities.
  2. Refrain from abusive or foul language.
  3. Refrain from causing bodily harm to self, other participants or staff.
  4. Refrain from threatening the safety and wellbeing to one’s self, other participants or staff.
  5. Show respect for equipment, supplies and facilities.
  6. Do not possess any weapons.
  7. Refrain from disparaging remarks to include comments against an individual’s race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, age, marital status or disability.
  8. Will not display any aggressive behavior, (i.e. hitting, punching, slapping, eloping, kicking, and biting).


A positive approach will be used regarding discipline.  Staff will periodically review rules with participants. If inappropriate behavior occurs, a prompt resolution will be sought specific to each individual’s situation.  The Des Plaines Park District reserves the right to dismiss a participant or facility user whose behavior endangers their own safety or the safety of others.


The following outlines the Des Plaines Park District’s recommended corrective actions for behavior violations. The Des Plaines Park District reserves the right to minimize, compound, and accelerate any and all of these corrective actions, based on the severity and circumstances surrounding each individual violation.


1. Any or all incidents of inappropriate behavior should be documented regardless of how minor or major.  The dismissal of a participant from an activity/facility shall be authorized by the Superintendent of Recreation or their designee.

2. Staff should follow the procedures below with the participant depending on the severity of the situation:

  • A verbal warning
  • A supervised time-out from the program.
  • A written Conduct Report #1
  • A suspension from the program or facility for a period of 1-30 days, depending on the severity of the offense.  When determining the timeframe of suspension, staff should consider the severity of the actions; the length of the program or activity; any past behavior issues with the individual; and willingness to improve their inappropriate behavior.  (Conduct Report #2)
  • Dismissal from the program or facility.  If inappropriate behavior persists or the behavior completely disrupts a program or facility, removal may be necessary. (Conduct Report #3)
  • Some other options may be discussed with the guardian if warranted, including: Transfer to another program where inappropriate behavior may be less prone to occur or; limited/reduced timeframe that participant is allowed to attend the program.

3.  The following specific procedures are to be followed when there is a supervised time-out, conduct report, suspension or dismissal from the program or facility:

  • Conduct Report– Fill out the Participant Conduct Report and give a copy to the Supervisor and Guardian on that same day of the incident.  Keep a copy on file.
  • After consecutive conduct reports the next step is suspension:  The staff member and Supervisor shall meet to discuss the conduct report(s).  The conduct will be evaluated to determine what behavior management techniques have been used to date.
  • The staff member and the supervisor will meet with the participant to discuss the conduct report.  The supervisor will communicate (1) the situation, (2) what has taken place to date, and (3) that assistance is needed to improve, or they may be suspended from the activity/facility.  In the case of a participant, indicate to them that their guardian may be called.

4. If the situation warrants guardian notification the Supervisor will telephone the guardian and indicate: (1) the situation, (2) what has taken place to date, and (3) that the guardian’s assistance    is  needed to improve the participant’s behavior or they may be suspended from the activity/facility.

5. If warranted, the Supervisor will request authorization from the Superintendent of Recreation to either (1) require the participant’s guardian agree, in writing, to have the Park District contact a social worker or the special recreation association to observe the participant’s behavior and offer specialized staff or (2) temporarily suspend the participant from the activity for a period of 1 to 30 days, depending on the severity of the situation.  A participant or participant’s guardian should always be contacted by the supervisor prior to suspension, whether temporary or permanent.

6. If the inappropriate behavior is repeated after the suspension, the Superintendent will correspond with the participant giving written notice that they may be dismissed from the activity/facility if the inappropriate behavior continues.


  • If a participant makes a direct threat of hurting themselves, call the guardian immediately. If a guardian is not available, call the police.
  • If a participant becomes overly aggressive and violent, call the police.


There will be a ZERO Tolerance to any persons that use our facilities, athletic fields, or programs. All parents, coaches, volunteers at our sporting events are required to uphold the highest standard and should never raise their voices, use foul language, or display any aggressive behavior. Any altercations physical or verbal brought to the Des Plaines Park District’s attention will result in the individual or party being immediately suspended from using our facilities and/or be on Park District grounds for a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 1 year, based on the situation. The Executive Director will decide the length of such suspension. This ZERO Tolerance Policy will need to be incorporated into any group’s bylaws in order for them to receive a permit to use our facility or athletic fields.

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