"Reef Safe" Vendors

helen ann

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I'm not sure what the plan is for payment, but it really doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Criminal background checks can be had for $12-15. I know this because of the work we do in screening our volunteers for church. Wristbands don't have to cost much either. There are other child check-in systems available too. The bulk of that cost is on the front end, but the upkeep is really minimal. I think from a cost perspective, having a few people sponsor the child safety plan would easily pay for it.

I think we're talking about doing away with those stickers.
I have already had people step up to be sponsors to cover cost.
 

Bleigh

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I'm not sure what the plan is for payment, but it really doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Criminal background checks can be had for $12-15. I know this because of the work we do in screening our volunteers for church. Wristbands don't have to cost much either. There are other child check-in systems available too. The bulk of that cost is on the front end, but the upkeep is really minimal. I think from a cost perspective, having a few people sponsor the child safety plan would easily pay for it.

I think we're talking about doing away with those stickers.
Do they give you a discount because it's non profit? I know background checks for teachers typically run $40 or so. Personally, if I was running a show like this, I wouldn't want to have the liability issue of trying to ensure that all vendors there are "safe". Just because the vendors all pass background checks doesn't mean all patrons would. Plus, would everyone who is working the show need a background check? For some small businesses, this could be cost prohibitive. And as @kschweer said, it takes time to get those in. What happens if one employee gets sick and another is going to fill in for them?

IMO, I think it is better to operate under the assumption that there will be child predators there, whether as vendors or patrons - or even staff of the actual facility. Now, how do you prevent their access to children or leaving with a child.
 

motortrendz

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2 things are real problems in this country... thinking someone else will protect your children and the ease of access for an active shooter. Theres so many threats in this world. I've been in rescue for 15 years I've seen it all, I'm a certified medic, with a combat casualty care cert and was the medic for my active shooter entry team when I worked in law enforcement. I've seen so many bad things happen to people I sometimes don't sleep much. And ove also seen what a false accusation can do to someone. And something will stay with you for life... which is why I keep saying remove the vendors from the equation. They're not working an a school or day care... and if the show happened to be in a school and they were on the registry, guess what, they cant be there or they'd be in violation... yes we want the shows to be family friendly. But let's be honest. A 5 year old isnt walking I to and around a show by themselves. And if they are I'd like a min with the parents. When you go to a fair, its family oriented but the workers can be anyone even murderers on parole.
My point being and has been over and over... mave the venue safe. Background checks mean nothing, bc theres 100x the amount of consumers than vendors who could be worse off. Having paid/volunteer security, off duty law enforcement even members from the forums who are law enforcers could volunteer to help and I'm sure they would in a second if asked. What about having an EMS station. Ask the local ems squad to have a booth there where they could pass out information and assist with any medical.conditions that may occur at the venue... and that could be your "safe place"

What would you do if there ever was an active shooter? Sad to say but it happens just about once a week in this world now. Maybe talk with local law enforcement go see how to better protect your show. Since some of these venues are packed and have many aisles, exit and evacuation routes could be highlighted as well.
Theres many aspects to safety and security and it seems theres been only focus on 1 aspect and one particular crime.
 

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Agreed that the conversation has changed, but read the OP and don't focus on the 2nd half that has the proposal. read what the proposal is due to.
I have, and I read the first half as being the incident that caused the OP to think about the possible need to put a child safety plan in place. I realize others are reading it differently, but I have gone back multiple times, and I just don't see the problem some seem to think is present.
Many appear to be reading it as if the motivation is solely due to someone unwanted being there and something should be done about it. Then the conversation backpedals into justifying the first half in the name of safe spaces but it comes across as finding ways to exclude unwanted individuals.
I'm really and truly not seeing any part of this conversation as saying that we should exclude anyone. In fact, I think it's been overwhelmingly stated that this is not the goal.

I read the last paragraph in this picture of the OP that you posted as saying specifically that there is a recognition that people can be rehabilitated (even if they're on Meagan's List or whatever their crime) and that those individuals have a right to earn a living (which I think implies selling corals at corals shows). The paragraph further reads that the OP thought, "What can I do to make saltwater aquarium tradeshows safer for children?" If this is the question, I think the point of this discussion is to answer that question. That's honestly how I read the first half of the OP (and of course the 2nd half of the OP is the proposal to answer the question).

IMO we derail the conversation when we aren't answering the question raised:
"What can I do to make saltwater aquarium tradeshows safer for children?"
 

Silver14SS

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IMO we derail the conversation when we aren't answering the question raised:
"What can I do to make saltwater aquarium tradeshows safer for children?"
And with them saying 0 incidences to date, I'd say there is literally nothing to correct :) But the finish line will move again with "what about the possibility something might happen?"
 

Shep

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I'm not sure what the plan is for payment, but it really doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Criminal background checks can be had for $12-15. I know this because of the work we do in screening our volunteers for church. Wristbands don't have to cost much either. There are other child check-in systems available too. The bulk of that cost is on the front end, but the upkeep is really minimal. I think from a cost perspective, having a few people sponsor the child safety plan would easily pay for it.

I think we're talking about doing away with those stickers.
Ok, lets for the sake of argument say that you could find a background check for $12 (for RNs in MD the background check cost $150 and can take weeks to come back), who gets to decide what is allowed? Obviously the thread was stared about crimes against minors but what if the person has felony manslaughter, murder, aggravated assault, drunk and disorderly? Who is in charge of this whole process and how do we ensure that its fair/standardized across all shows?
 
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TheHarold

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Some background checks can be had fairly cheap but are also fairly limited in scope and usually are only state wide. For larger shows with out of state vendors a nation wide check should be done and will cost more.
Again, unless you are doing a background check of every member attending the show, a background check of the vendor is useless.

And it is discriminative, IMO. This is not a occupation that is based on interacting with children. They are selling corals. HUGE difference.


Edit;
Honestly, I think just suggesting that is shameful. You really think someone with a criminal history cannot be in the hobby? Shame on you, IMO. (In the most respectful way that is NOT attacking anyone :) )
 

Silver14SS

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Obviously the thread was stared about crimes against minors but what if the person has felony manslaughter, murder, aggravated assault, drunk and disorderly? Who is in charge of this whole process and how do we ensure that its fair/standardized across all shows?
I asked that as well and included domestic violence in my list, but I believe the post was deleted due to a silly picture I should not have included :)
 

kschweer

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Again, unless you are doing a background check of every member attending the show, a background check of the vendor is useless.

And it is discriminative, IMO. This is not a occupation that is based on interacting with children. They are selling corals. HUGE difference.
As I said in my original post I’m not going to say whether I agree with this or not, I just wanted to throw in a few things I think are not being looked at/thought about.
 

Silver14SS

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As I said in my original post I’m not going to say whether I agree with this or not, I just wanted to throw in a few things I think are not being looked at/thought about.
And heaven forbid something happen, what liability has been created by certifying people or areas as safe?
 
Legendary Corals

kschweer

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And heaven forbid something happen, what liability has been created by certifying people or areas as safe?
I will not be certifying anything so I’m not worried about it. And I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know the ins and outs of something like this from a legal standpoint. Again as I said in not getting into my feeling on this.
 

Quietman

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Some background checks can be had fairly cheap but are also fairly limited in scope and usually are only state wide. For larger shows with out of state vendors a nation wide check should be done and will cost more.
So maybe there is a "marginally safer zone" or a "only affordable easily publically available information zone". I'm being facetious of course, but the point here is how do you set expectations and enforce them. As a parent if I hear safe zone, I have a set of expectations which probably have a lot in common with other parents. But do those match what's being delivered and enforced? And I'll come back to liability every time. We have a very litigious society. Event sponsors have a right to protect themselves as well.

I do love where everyones heart is at on here. From child safety to protecting individual rights. Really impressive when you set aside the differences and think about it.
 

Paul Sands

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Once again the conversation has gone back to finding the people that don’t meet whatever moral code is being established, and trying to exclude them. Since the stickers are apparently out, I guess you’ve moved on to banishing them from the show entirely? It comes back up so often that it seems like that’s the point.
 

Bleigh

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I have already had people step up to be sponsors to cover cost.
That's awesome, but that could easily run into the 100's if not 1000's of dollars. I think if you do any background checks, it has to be mandatory for everyone, including volunteers. Otherwise you run the risk of those who would be caught in a background check self-selecting out of the volunteer process. If your goal is not to restrict those with criminal histories though, there is no reason to do background checks. For the record, if this is your goal, I believe that is fine too. It wouldn't be a goal of mine in this context, but it's your decision to do what you think is best for your event. If people don't like it, they don't have to go.

Another problem of being able to volunteer for a background check is that people realize that if you have something bad that would show up, you wouldn't volunteer to have it done. This allows people to draw the unjustified conclusion that everyone who doesn't volunteer must have a bad criminal background. I think people deserve the right to privacy. As several other people have stated, vendors are selling corals and trying to make a living, sometimes in spite of poor decisions in the past that may have had nothing to do with children. How do you then protect any information that you do receive from a background check?

Again, I think these are healthy things to consider. It's up to you to be the judge of the ideas.
 

Shep

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Once again the conversation has gone back to finding the people that don’t meet whatever moral code is being established, and trying to exclude them. Since the stickers are apparently out, I guess you’ve moved on to banishing them from the show entirely? It comes back up so often that it seems like that’s the point.
Maybe we can get a updated post on what exactly is being proposed? It seems the conversation and idea has morphed several times and I honestly don't even know what is currently being suggested. We are getting rid of the sticker idea but we are still doing background checks? Wrist bands but for only one parent? A safe zone?
 

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Some background checks can be had fairly cheap but are also fairly limited in scope and usually are only state wide. For larger shows with out of state vendors a nation wide check should be done and will cost more.
Ours are nationwide. It's done through our denomination, so perhaps there's a volume discount that's a part of the rate we get. I don't know. However, there are people who will sponsor these types of costs. I'm less worried about cost than having a plan in place.
Do they give you a discount because it's non profit? I know background checks for teachers typically run $40 or so. Personally, if I was running a show like this, I wouldn't want to have the liability issue of trying to ensure that all vendors there are "safe". Just because the vendors all pass background checks doesn't mean all patrons would. Plus, would everyone who is working the show need a background check? For some small businesses, this could be cost prohibitive. And as @kschweer said, it takes time to get those in. What happens if one employee gets sick and another is going to fill in for them?

IMO, I think it is better to operate under the assumption that there will be child predators there, whether as vendors or patrons - or even staff of the actual facility. Now, how do you prevent their access to children or leaving with a child.
For sure! To the first part, maybe we get a discount due to the volume of background checks from churches in our denomination. I'm not sure on that one.

To having all the vendors checked, I don't think that was ever the proposed plan. The plan was originally to check the vendors who volunteered to be vetted for safe places. I think that part of the plan is evolving. I'd personally say we could have safe place booths or something and have any volunteers working those checked. My thought is that the goal isn't to have every single person checked who walks through the door bc 1) that's impossible, and 2) it's unreasonable. I think instead, I would simply want whoever is being put in place as a potential contact children would interact with to go through vetting (same as I would for volunteers at our church in the kids ministry area).
And with them saying 0 incidences to date, I'd say there is literally nothing to correct :) But the finish line will move again with "what about the possibility something might happen?"
I've answered this previously. HERE
Ok, lets for the sake of argument say that you could find a background check for $12 (for RNs in MD the background check cost $150), who gets to decide what is allowed? Obviously the thread was stared about crimes against minors but what if the person has felony manslaughter, murder, aggravated assault, drunk and disorderly? Who is in charge of this whole process and how do we ensure that its fair/standardized across all shows?
I think what is allowed is part of what still would need to be worked out. This plan is still being created, so standards would need to be set. Again, I'd propose standards be set specifically for volunteers who might be interacting with children in safe areas as contact points for them.
Again, unless you are doing a background check of every member attending the show, a background check of the vendor is useless.

And it is discriminative, IMO. This is not a occupation that is based on interacting with children. They are selling corals. HUGE difference. Honestly, I think just suggesting that is shameful. You really think someone with a criminal history cannot be in the hobby? Shame.
Background checks are useful for people who potentially would interact with children. It's not a guarantee about the individual, but it is a vetting process and is useful for at least determining that there's no reason we SHOULD think this person would be a danger.
 

Bleigh

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Once again the conversation has gone back to finding the people that don’t meet whatever moral code is being established, and trying to exclude them. Since the stickers are apparently out, I guess you’ve moved on to banishing them from the show entirely? It comes back up so often that it seems like that’s the point.
I hope its not the point. But I do not think these is a problem if that's what they choose to do. I agree that what's allowable and what's not may be subjective and seem arbitrary to some, but as event organizers, I think that is their right to choose to prevent people from attending. They could decide that if people aren't wearing shoes and shirts, they won't be allowed admittance.

Do I think putting that measure in place makes the place safer? Absolutely not. I think this conversation will allow them to ensure that what ever policy they land on will be proactive, strong and intentional.
 

jayala12

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And with them saying 0 incidences to date, I'd say there is literally nothing to correct :) But the finish line will move again with "what about the possibility something might happen?"
If we don’t move the finish line on things how will anything ever improve ? Cures? Technology? Crime? Education?
 

TheHarold

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Background checks are useful for people who potentially would interact with children. It's not a guarantee about the individual, but it is a vetting process and is useful for at least determining that there's no reason we SHOULD think this person would be a danger.
People at retail stores interact with children more than vendors at conventions. Or working at Home Depot. Or working at the movie theaters.

Is your personal opinion to ban anyone with a criminal history from working in an honest field? Because I promise you, that only makes things worse.
 

Shep

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I think what is allowed is part of what still would need to be worked out. This plan is still being created, so standards would need to be set. Again, I'd propose standards be set specifically for volunteers who might be interacting with children in safe areas as contact points for them.

Background checks are useful for people who potentially would interact with children. It's not a guarantee about the individual, but it is a vetting process and is useful for at least determining that there's no reason we SHOULD think this person would be a danger.
Who gets to decide this? Is it going to done by a not yet created group? is it going to be standardized across all shows? Is there going to be an appeal process if someone is rejected and they think its unfair? If a vendor refuses to do it are they then barred from the show or will they be labeled "Refused Background Check"? Any volunteer might interact with a child at a reef show so you would have to background check ALL of them. So is the cost of a background check going to be footed by the show or by the individual? if its up to the show to do it, that will quickly become prohibitively expensive and if its up to the volunteer, well good luck making someone pay to volunteer.
 

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