The Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop Student Code of Ethics
Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop believes every student should have the oppurtunity to learn and practice their craft in an open, non-threatening, creative environment free of misconduct, harassment, and discrimination. Our goal is for every student of AMAW to feel comfortable and included regardless of their race, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, religious beliefs, nationality, age, or disability.
AMAW also believes in their facility and their craft as a true forum for the creative exploration of the actor. All students are encouraged to express themselves without fear of censorship or judgment.
AMAW is committed to providing an environment that is free of misconduct, discrimination, and harassment (which includes, but not limited to; stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual assault). The AMAW community is committed to fostering a healthy and safe environment in which every member of the community can express their artistry to its fullest potential.
Freedom of Expression
Nothing in this policy shall abridge freedom of expression or AMAW’s educational mission. However, Students and Teachers shouldn’t mistake this freedom as an allowance to say or take actions that fall under the categories of misconduct, harassment, or sexual harassment.
The following misconduct policy (the “Misconduct Policy”) has been prepared by the Ethics Committee and approved by Anthony Meindl. The Misconduct Policy applies to students of AMAW, whereas faculty and staff are governed by the Employee Handbook. The AMAW Misconduct Policy is used to regulate student disciplinary actions by providing a uniform framework to determine whether a student is or is not culpable of misconduct, and to implement AMAW’s aspiration that all students are accorded fair and objective treatment. The AMAW Misconduct Policy does not replace the local, state, or federal law enforcement processes or any civil court process. AMAW will use its best efforts to make all students aware of these policies.
*All teachers, students, and staff are responsible to each other in order to promote the goal that the AMAW environment is free from sexual harassment. AMAW’s “zero tolerance” of inappropriate behavior includes any such behaviors at AMAW locations, AMAW activities, or AMAW events in which members of the AMAW community may find themselves in connection with the studio or on studio property.
Zero Tolerance for Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation
AMAW will use its best efforts to prohibit any and all forms of unlawful harassment (including sexual violence) discrimination, or retaliation. Anyone who violates this zero tolerance policy is subject, at the sole reasonable discretion of AMAW, to appropriate disciplinary sanctions, up to and including immediate suspension or expulsion.
*In the event a student engages in objectionable behavior with a fellow AMAW student or staff member on or off-premises, AMAW may file claims or charges against the student for any violation(s) of the Code of Ethics before, concurrent with, or following criminal charges being filed by law enforcement agencies for the same act(s). All studio standards of conduct apply to students and their conduct, behavior, and activity, both on and off AMAW premises and at AMAW-sponsored events, regardless of where they are being held.
Finally, AMAW may pursue any conduct charges against a respondent irrespective of whether there is any complainant, and references to complainants herein shall not be construed to mean that there must be a complainant or complainant participation as a condition of the procedures at issue.
Statute of Limitations
No statute of limitations precludes studio instructors from acting on the discovery of alleged violations either during foundations, ongoing classes in question or after the class’ term has concluded including after a student(s) becomes inactive.
“Student” shall mean (i) a Currently Enrolled Student; and (ii) an Inactive Student.
A “Currently Enrolled Student” means any individual currently enrolled in any course offered by AMAW. The status of Currently Enrolled Student shall continue for two (2) months after the course’s last class.
An “Inactive Student” means any former Currently Enrolled Student during the period beginning two (2) months after the course’s last class and continuing into perpetuity.
A boundary is a physical, auditory, emotional, parameter-limits and/or rules- that an individual has set for themself within relationships.
An AMAW event refers to a gathering of four or more students in a given location.
A complainant is an individual or group of individuals who have allegedly been subject to a destructive or injurious violation of the Student Code of Ethics by another individual or group of individuals.
A respondent is an individual or group of individuals accused of violating the Student Code of Ethics.
A witness is any person who may have relevant or important information regarding the incident.
A student conduct procedure is a review undertaken by the AMAW studio to establish whether there is substantial information to determine whether a student violated the Code of Ethics.
A third-party reporter is an individual bringing forth information that another individual or group of individuals may have violated the Student Code of Ethics.
Ethics Committee means a committee composed of the Reporting Teacher, Studio Manager, Student-Teacher Liaison, DEI Committee, COO, CEO, that collects and reviews evidence regarding an incident and ultimately determines whether a student has violated the Code of Ethics and imposes sanctions as warranted.
Disciplinary actions are sanctions and outcomes imposed when any student violates the Student Code of Ethics.
Authorized Disciplinary Sanctions
- a. AMAW is the sole authority to determine who may participate in AMAW activities or workshops. Sanctions imposed/recommended for violation of the AMAW studio’s expectations of conduct are as follows:
- a written warning;
- a written reprimand;
- loss of privileges including, but not limited to, participation in activities or workshops connected to the AMAW studio;
- educational/developmental assignment;
- teacher’s authority to remove a student;
- restitution or reimbursement for damage to or misappropriation of AMAW’s property;
- disciplinary suspension from the studio for a specified period;
- suspension of otherwise granted licenses, authorities or privileges, including, but not limited to, participation in activities and workshops connected to the AMAW studio;
- expulsion (permanent separation from the AMAW studio);
- other sanction or sanctions as deemed appropriate by AMAW under the circumstances.
Major sanctions include disciplinary suspension, expulsion, and other sanctions specified by AMAW rules and procedures as being major sanctions.
Minor sanctions are those other than ones specified as major sanctions, such as warning, reprimand, etc.
Interim suspension is a temporary removal of the student during the limited time necessary to complete an investigation and is not necessarily considered to be a disciplinary action.
Probationary period is a trial period (3 to 6 months) in which students’ reintegration in class may be altered and is monitored, including but not limited to how they relate, fit in and behave with teacher(s) and peers.
A day is a day the studio is open for business Monday through Friday, even if classes are not scheduled.
“Misconduct” shall mean any of the following actions:
- Actions that endanger the life or safety of another person, negligent or otherwise;
- Unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, or weapons of any kind on AMAW property, premises, or places of operation;
- Engaging in criminal conduct or acts of violence or making threats of violence toward anyone on the premises or when representing AMAW;
- Demonstrating a violent propensity through behavior, conduct, or threats of such whether on or off the AMAW premises;
- Fighting (or provoking of fights), horseplay, or damage to the AMAW property, whether negligent or otherwise;
- Threatening, intimidating, or coercing any faculty member, staff, employee, independent contractor, performer, or student on the AMAW premises;
- Causing the destruction or damage of property, or the property of fellow faculty, staff, employees, independent contractors, performers, students, or visitors in any manner, whether negligent or otherwise;
- Violation of security or rules and guidelines, failure to observe rules and guidelines or safety practices, and/or tampering with safety equipment;
- Theft of AMAW’s property or the property of faculty, staff, employees, independent contractors, performers, or students, including the unauthorized possession/removal of property (such as documents), from the premises without prior permission from management, the unauthorized use of equipment or property for personal reasons, and/or using AMAW’s equipment for profit;
- Any use by a faculty member of their position and authority for personal gain, be it financial, business, political, or otherwise, including, without limitation requiring students to volunteer or participate in projects outside of the school as an overt or implied condition of their education;
- Being intoxicated while in a class, at a class rehearsal, or during a class performance;
- Any form of retaliation for filing a complaint under this policy or for assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing.
Disruptive conduct means engaging in behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts a teacher’s ability to teach and/or a student’s ability to learn.
Bullying means any severe or pervasive (repeated over time) physical or verbal act or conduct that is directed toward an individual or individuals that thus places the individual in a reasonable state of fear or harm. Sometimes a single incident constitutes bullying depending on intent and power imbalance.
Cyberbullying is the use of cell phones or other devices to send, post or share social media posts, emails, text messages, or images through any or all technologies using electronic communication that constitute harassment.
A Bias-Related Incident is defined as behavior that constitutes an expression of hostility against an individual or group that is based on or motivated by the individual or group’s real perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or gender identity and/ or expression. Bias-related incidents include, but are not limited to, name-calling and using degrading language or slurs directed toward a person because of their membership (or perceived membership) in a protected group.
Discrimination is the adverse treatment based on an individual’s membership in a legally protected category that can interfere with or limit an individual’s opportunity to participate in or benefit from the studio’s class and activities.
Microaggressions are Bias Incidents in which everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their group membership.
Hate Crimes are Bias Incidents in which the conduct constitutes a criminal offense against persons or property. Hate crimes are defined by California law Penal Code Sections 422.55, 422.6, 422.7, and 422.75 PC.
Harassment, outside of the context of a written scene, is verbal or physical conduct, including written, spoken, or visual material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of their race, sex, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, handicap, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, veteran, or marital or socio-economic status, or that of their relatives, friends or associates, and that:
- Creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or performance environment;
- Adversely affects an individual’s employment, educational, or performance opportunities.
Harassment includes sexual harassment and Stalking (as defined below); however, Harassment can take many forms and is not necessarily sexual in nature. The following could be considered harassment and therefore constitutes prohibited conduct:
- Offensive comments, jokes, innuendos, and other derogatory statements that are hurtful towards an above-named protected category. This could include downloading, copying, storing, creating, transmitting, or distributing any pornographic, offensive, defamatory, obscene, or discriminatory information;
- Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually-oriented material defined towards an individual including posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, or gestures including those accessed or sent via E-mail, social network, or other physical and/or digital means;
- Any conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
- Retaliation for having reasonably and in good faith reported or threatened to report harassment.
Stalking is defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking involves repeated and continued harassment made against the expressed wishes of another individual, which causes the targeted individual to feel emotional distress, including fear and apprehension. Stalking behaviors may include:
- Pursuing or following;
- Non-consensual (unwanted) communication or contact – including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, electronic messages, text messages, written letters, social media messages, etc.;
- Sending unwanted gifts (such as flowers);
- Trespassing, property damage;
- Surveillance or other types of observation including invasion of online privacy.
Sexual assault is defined as any nonconsensual, intentional physical contact of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome physical contact with a person’s thigh, genitals, buttocks, or breasts. Sexual assault occurs when the act is committed by: a) physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation; b) ignoring the objections of another person; c) causing another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of alcohol or other drugs; and/or d) taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, helplessness, or other inability to consent.
Examples of Misconduct
The following list is not exhaustive but attempts to provide some simple examples of misconduct to illustrate severity and the category the behavior falls into.
- Pulling out an actual knife in character during a scene.
- Throwing a chair against a wall.
- Forcing your way into another person’s car or cab when leaving a class, rehearsal, show, or any AMAW event or after socializing after those events.
- Repeated reference to a performer’s actual race regardless of the race of their character.
- Writing sketches and providing situations referencing faculty or actual students (non-public figures) in a derogatory or insulting manner.
- Retaliation for filing a formal complaint.
- Videotaping and photographing someone without consent.
- Continuing to communicate (attempt to communicate) via text, calls, messaging or emails after being asked to stop.
- Following someone else home from class, rehearsal, audition, show, or AMAW event.
- Pressure for a date or a romantic or intimate relationship.
- Unnecessary and unwelcome references to various parts of the body.
- Belittling remarks about a person’s gender or belittling remarks about a person’s sexual orientation based on gender stereotyping.
- Obscene gestures of a sexual or gender-based nature.
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging.
- Non-consensual, intentional physical contact of a sexual nature
Reporting Incidents of Misconduct
Any individual who witnesses or becomes aware of an alleged violation of the AMAW Student Code of Ethics should report the violation to a Teacher, the Student-Teacher Liaison, Studio Manager, Operations Manager, or DEI Committee. AMAW cannot purport to address “silent” victimizations – we cannot address what has not been reported to us.
AMAW encourages reporting misconduct immediately so that AMAW can properly address the allegations and take appropriate steps to prevent the conduct from escalating and/or to eliminate the harassing conduct.
All Faculty and Staff are obligated to act on any report of alleged Misconduct. Complainant’s incident reports should be specific and truthful. It is expected that the specific charges, details of the incident or incidents, names of the individuals involved, the names of any witnesses, and any other evidence in support thereof are important.
In any case, where there is a reasonable suspicion that criminal actions may have occurred or are occurring, in addition to the reporting process described herein, faculty, staff, and employees of the AMAW studio may be obligated to report such actions to applicable law enforcement authority and to forward all applicable evidence to such law enforcement authority concerning such actions.
AMAW cannot fully investigate anonymous complaints. However, we will utilize our best efforts to investigate all such claims. AMAW encourages Students to feel comfortable reporting misconduct.
Complainant Request for Confidentiality/Privacy
All complaints are handled discretely and maintained as confidential as possible during any investigation. AMAW staff and faculty will not publicly discuss in open forums (including public spaces, social media, and other forums) a complaint.
A complainant may request confidentiality/privacy at any point. This type of request means that the complainant does not want their identity known to the respondent and witnesses. AMAW will make all reasonable attempts to comply with a request for privacy or the withdrawal of a report.
AMAW will make reasonable efforts to address all third-party complaints.
AMAW considers any form of retaliation against any student, teacher, or employee for filing a complaint under this policy or for assisting or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing a matter of high concern. AMAW will use its best efforts to see that anyone that files a complaint or cooperates in an investigation of a complaint under this policy is protected from any retaliatory action as a result of filing such a complaint or cooperating in an investigation.
Student Privileges and Responsibilities
Students at AMAW may reasonably expect fair procedures in student conduct procedures. However, none of AMAW, its teachers nor its administrators are experts in legal standards such as due process. AMAW will use its best efforts to treat everyone involved in every conduct proceeding fairly. Students, teachers and administrators may disagree with AMAW’s determination of what is fair.
Students may choose to not respond to the allegations during the student conduct proceeding. However, AMAW shall make its determination regarding responsibility and administration of sanctions in its reasoned judgment based on the information available to it at the time.
Student-Teacher Liaison shall be responsible for investigating all reported complaints and allegations concerning violations of this Misconduct Policy. If the Student-Teacher Liaison is the subject of the complaint, the Operations Manager shall investigate in place of the Student-Teacher Liaison.
Following the receipt of a complaint, the respondent will be notified that a complaint has been filed and they will have the opportunity to submit a written statement within five calendar days, whenever possible. This includes students making a specific complaint about a faculty or staff member.
Interim Suspension: Interim suspension consists of the temporary removal of the student from the AMAW studio’s foundation course, ongoing classes and other activities during the limited time necessary to complete an investigation, and is not necessarily considered a disciplinary action.
Interim Suspension shall be:
- Imposed by the Student-Teacher Liaison, or designee, pending a meeting, only when such action is deemed to be necessary for the immediate safety and welfare of the students, teachers, and staff members.
- Limited to only that period deemed reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose of interim suspension;
- For not more than a maximum of fourteen (14) days.
- Students suspended on an interim basis shall be given an opportunity for a meeting within fourteen (14) days of being placed on Interim Suspension.
- Students found not culpable after an Interim Suspension may be provided an opportunity to make up all classes in which they are enrolled at the time.
Meeting Preparation and Scheduling
Before the meeting
- The logistics of meeting preparation and scheduling will be committed by the Student-Teacher Liaison and/or The Ethics Committee. They will notify the respondent by e-mail of the date, time, and place for the meeting. The notice will be sent to the student’s information listed in the studio manager’s record.
- The student respondent will receive full notification of the complaint, including the policy, the standard or regulation they have allegedly violated, notification of any meeting notification of disposition of the charge, and will be given a chance to be present and respond through the meeting process. Whenever reasonably possible, the student will be given at least 2 days’ notice of the time, date, and place for the meeting. In cases involving allegations of actual or threatened violent conduct against a person, the notice will specify a meeting date of at least 2 days after the date of the e-mail message. Notice sent by email will:
- state the time, date, and place for the meeting;
- contain the name of the Student- Teacher Liaison, Ethics Committee, and/or those appointed to hear the matter;
- contain the names of witnesses (when applicable) who may testify against the respondent;
- contain a summary of the alleged victim’s complaints, which outlines the alleged violation(s).
- The complainant will receive full notification and a copy of the complaint sent to the student respondent, and notification of any meeting and will be given the chance to present and respond through the meeting process.
- The Ethics Committee will be provided a meeting packet-which may include the initial complainant report, investigation reports, and witness statements.
- In the rare circumstance where a respondent fails to make a good faith effort to participate in the meeting process, the studio may elect to schedule and conduct a meeting without the respondent’s participation.
During the Meeting
- Information provided during the Conduct proceeding should remain confidential.
- The Student-Teacher Liaison or moderator of the meeting will remind all those present at the opening of each meeting that the purpose of the conduct proceedings is to determine the appropriate response, through a deliberative process, when a violation of policy, standard, or regulation is alleged.
- Before the meeting begins, the claimant and respondent will be asked if they believe that the potential meeting board members are biased for or against them. If a perceived bias is reasonable, replacements will be chosen for the committee and the meeting will be rescheduled.
- The complainant(s) and respondent(s) will be given an opportunity to speak.
- During the meeting, the respondent(s) who are charged with a violation and the claimant(s) may remain silent. However, AMAW shall make its determination regarding responsibility and administration of sanctions in its reasoned judgment based on the information available to it at the time.
- Witnesses should be able to provide direct information related to the case(s) under review such as direct observation of the incident(s) in question and/or direct interaction with any of the parties before, during, or after the incident in question.
- Following the sharing of the complainant, respondent, and if applicable-the witness(es), the Ethics Committee will deliberate. A preponderance of the evidence will be used to determine if a studio policy was violated. If responsibility is determined, the Student-Teacher Liaison and The Ethics Committee will have up to seven days to render a decision, and may:
- Impose the sanction
- Dismiss the case
- Alter or lessen the sanction
- Refer the matter back for further review
- Take such other action as the committee deems appropriate
Meeting Outcome, Determination, & Notifications
- The Student-Teacher Liaison will be responsible for notifying the COO or designee in writing of their recommendation and/or that of the Ethics Committee. They will render a written decision as to whether the accused student has committed a violation and will set forth findings of fact in support of the decision. The sanction or sanctions will also be stated in the decision.
- The COO decides on the case, informed by the recommendation of the Student-Teacher Liaison and Ethics Committee. The COO or designee may accept, reject or modify the recommendation, or may request a new review of the matter.
- After the decision is rendered, the Student-Teacher Liaison will notify the
following individuals, when applicable, of their decision:
- The Ethics Committee
- Studio Manager
- The Respondent
- The complainant (*In cases involving allegations of crimes of violence, the Student-Teacher Liaison shall notify the complainant of the outcome.)
- The Student- Teacher Liaison should make every effort to complete the written decision within five days of the meeting.
- Disciplinary actions will be recorded in the student’s disciplinary record, attendance master file, and student file.
Definition of Authorized Sanctions
Disciplinary actions are sanctions and outcomes imposed when any student violates the AMAW Code of Ethics. The following types of disciplinary action may be imposed, or imposed and suspended, by appropriate studio authorities when a student is found in violation.
Written Warning: written documentation that a student may have been in violation of a policy or regulation and that notice of such has been provided to the student.
Written Reprimand: a formal written warning that a student has been in violation of a policy or regulation and that notice of such has been provided to the student.
Educational/Developmental Assignment: The studio may require a student to complete a project, assignment, or activity to promote the student’s education and development concerning the subject of the infraction. These assignments are determined by the Student-Teacher Liaison and DEI Committee. Completion is monitored by those previously mentioned. Assignments may include but are not limited to: reflection or research paper, development of a presentation, discussion with an individual, apology letter, reading assignment, etc.
Loss of Privilege: Students may lose specified privileges, which may include access to facilities, services, and/or the opportunity to participate in AMAW showcases and activities.
Restitution: The student is required to reimburse the studio or other complainants related to the misconduct for damage to or misappropriation of property, or for reasonable expenses incurred.
Teacher Removal of a Student: a teacher may remove a student from their class, including foundations, ongoing, online, or other educational programs whenever, in the teacher’s reasonable discretion, the student interferes or has interfered with the instructional process. The duration may extend for an appropriate period at the teacher’s reasonable discretion. The teacher shall immediately report the removal to the Student-Teacher Liaison for discussion, review and appropriate action.
Disciplinary Suspension: disciplinary suspension consists of the temporary removal of the student from enrollment or participation in all AMAW foundations, ongoing classes as well as free workshops.
- A student may be suspended from one or more classes for the remainder of the month, or from all classes and activities of AMAW for one or more months.
- A suspended student is not to occupy any portion of the AMAW premises and is denied all AMAW privileges including in-person, and online class attendance and privileges.
- Removal of a student suspended from one or more classes will be notated on the master student file and attendance file.
Expulsion: consists of the permanent and unconditional removal of the student from AMAW and all its programs. Students may be expelled from AMAW by the action of the Ethics Committee upon recommendation of the Student-Teacher Liaison, CEO, and COO. Notation of the expulsion will be noted on the master student file and attendance file.
Other sanctions as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
Recommended Sanctions Matrix
The Student-Teacher Liaison shall consult the Ethics Committee to determine appropriate sanctions consistent with the standards outlined by the AMAW Code of Ethics.
|TYPE OF INCIDENT||FREQUENCY AND SANCTIONS|
|During investigation||1st offense||2nd offense||3rd offense|
|Refusal to discuss boundary||N/A||Warning
|Violation of boundary||Interim suspension||Disciplinary
|Damage of property||N/A||Reprimand
Alcohol or drugs
while in class
|Race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, creed, national origin, or ancestry hate speech or verbal offense||Interim suspension||Disciplinary
and not limited to bullying/
|Interim suspension||Disciplinary suspension
|Use of weapon meant as prop without Teacher approval||Interim suspension||Disciplinary suspension||Expulsion||N/A|
|Physical assault or battery||Interim suspension||Disciplinary suspension
|Sexual harassment||Interim suspension||Disciplinary suspension
|Sexual assault||Interim suspension||Expulsion||N/A||N/A|
A student’s disciplinary record shall be maintained separately from the attendance file. Students found culpable of having violated the Code of Ethics will have imposed sanctions entered into their disciplinary record.