Dear Parent/Guardian: An introduction to HomestuckToronto

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Dear Parent/Guardian: An introduction to HomestuckToronto

Post by Aze on Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:34 am

Hello, and welcome to HomestuckToronto! If you're reading this, it probably means that your 13+ child is interested in attending meetups in Toronto regarding Homestuck. This is a friendly meetup that has been designed to be safe, secure, and welcoming. You are welcome to posit your own guidelines, so long as they are reasonable, for your child for Aze to follow; please read the Meetup Rules (click) and Forum Rules (click) as well to have a better understanding of what kind of behavior is required from your child before forming your own guidelines, as they may already be covered.

To begin with, HomestuckToronto is organized and run by Toni Gates, known online (and as a nickname) as Aze (that's me! Hi!). I'm a 24 year old female with lots of experience with children, in terms of babysitting and organizing birthdays and other such small events; however, I have few references, so I understand if you worry about that and decide not to allow your child to join. However, you are welcome to sit in on a meetup if you so choose, to see how your child behaves, how the group behaves, and how I handle the meetups. These meetups will ALWAYS be held in public, in a public venue, and if your child ever feels uncomfortable they will be encouraged to call you and either be picked up or be escorted to the bus to leave the meetup. Nobody will be allowed to follow your child home by getting on the same bus unless your child feels comfortable with it AND you have given express permission for them to travel together (ie in the case of close friends). If your child(ren) are of age but you still wish them to be escorted to their method of transportation for peace of mind, I am happy to help.

From now on, I'll be speaking about myself (as Aze) in the third person, as I do in the rules. The following is a list of informational points as well as some expectations of what you should do as parents to ensure that your child is safe and happy during these meetings.

Generally speaking, meetings begin at five, but your child(ren) may show up at any point so long as the time has been agreed upon with Aze so that she knows when to expect them, and end around 9pm, though they can run until 11pm or further for anyone over 16+ or those that are of age. For more information, see information point 2.

1. If your child has any food allergies, please have them tell Aze about it. While Aze cannot be held responsible for what your child eats or drinks, she will be doing her best to monitor the foods ordered. Please keep in mind to teach your child about being careful to ask what is in the foods they order to make this easier on everyone involved. Nobody wants your child to have to go to the hospital because of an allergic reaction. Additionally, please tell Aze about what she should do if your child does experience an allergic reaction; not everyone is the same. Some people must be rushed to a hospital immediately while others are fine after a few moments. Your child will be expected to know what must be done, and Aze will expect to be made aware of it as well just in case.

2. Aze does her best to ensure that all meetups are calm, polite, and entertaining, but most of all, she strives for safety and security. As such, it is expected for you to communicate with her on certain matters (such as the above food allergy matter) and also on matters such as when your child should begin to leave to come home. Aze will be keeping tabs on everyone as best she can, and each child and member is expected to make it clear to her where they are going and what they will be doing should they need to step away, and to remain with the group at all times otherwise; but Aze is not perfect and cannot be expected to pay perfect attention to each individual when she is responsible for an entire group (should the group be large). Your child will be barred from future meetups if they cannot stay with the group to ensure safety (aside from things such as using the washroom of course). Additionally they should have some way of being reminded that they should leave in case Aze fails to notice the time. On that note...

Aze will attempt to escort each minor to the TTC subway station (or outside to an agreed upon person's car for them to pick up your child) but once your child begins to travel away from the group on a bus, train, or in a car, Aze's responsibility to them ends and she will be required to rejoin the group to ensure that everyone else is behaving properly and that there is no threat to anyone else's children. To streamline this process, it would be best if you could help Aze coordinate a time for all minors to head to the subway together with her, to minimize the amount of time that Aze has to leave any one minor unsupervised for any length of time.

This is not to say that a specific meetup has no end time. They do, of course; each meetup ends at approximately 7pm for minors. Those minors with permission to stay longer can stay until around 9 pm (officially) depending on the venue's hours of business; and if a specific venue is open a very long time, they are welcome to stay as long as they like until either you require your child(ren) to come home, until too few people are left (less than four people remain), Aze herself leaves, or until the venue closes. However, after 9pm, should the Venue still be open, will likely in the future become an 'older minors' time if there are enough older people in the group to warrant it, requiring those under 16 to be escorted to their method of travel home; past 11pm it will become an 'adults only' meetup if there are enough adults present to warrant it, at which point anyone that is underage will be escorted out if they are not already required to come home. If your child is too young for the later portions of the meetup and refuses to leave, you will be called and your child may be barred from future outings. Should there be next to no adults present Aze will encourage your child(ren) to call you to inform you if the Adult Only section is cancelled and open to minors 16+, or she may do it herself if she has time, so that your child has the opportunity to ask whether it is alright for them to stay a little later. However, in most cases, Aze will expect the meeting to officially end at 9pm and then end altogether at 11pm as stated, whereas at that point if all goes according to plan it will simply be a few adults hanging out and talking about a webcomic online.

3. Please remember that Aze will not allow your child(ren) to be left alone in a group with adults in it if the adults are not also ready and willing to be held responsible for anything that happens during the meetups, and that Aze will bar from the meetups anyone that has shown any possibility of being a danger to themselves or others in the group, especially if they seem that they may be or are a danger to children. She will also require information such as full names and contact information from each adult present, like she will require your name and contact information (phone numbers and names only) but she will never, ever ask for this sort of information about your child(ren). Your child(ren) are fully capable of going by an alias as well to protect them, so long as they are not using a name from Homestuck itself, or the name of a popular fictional character; keep the alias realistic, please, or else people may inquire about whether or not it's a real name, and it would miss the point of using an alias. Additionally, Aze will not spread or share any information shared with her regarding your names, your phone numbers, the names of your child(ren) or any sensitive information given to her.

4. If your child is under 13 but still wishes to participate, they may do so until seven PM so long as you or someone that can be legally responsible for them is present to care for them. This is not a daycare, so Aze cannot do things like watch young children for you, but they are welcome to join in so long as you are there to care for any needs they have.

5. Please ensure your child has their share of the 'meal money'. Aze will be collecting menu choices from all those that plan on attending and will pay for as much of it as she can, but each member should chip in with their fair share of the price to alleviate this burden and to help make it a group order as is to be expected from any group. Additionally, she will post the cost breakdown so that everyone can see how much they're paying in regards to the actual price, and how much she's paying. If you/your child fail to place their order with Aze ahead of time, you/your child will be responsible for the full price of your/your child's separate order. Please list any food intolerances, allergies, or dislikes with your order so that Aze can optimize the meal for the group. If you/your child can't afford the meal money share, please contact Aze privately, and she'll see if there is any way to make accomodations for it.

6. Meetup schedules. There is one monthly type of meetup (official) at a venue with food, and there is a second type of meetup (unofficial) for those that wish to meet up for it without a food venue. This location will likely be at a park just for a few hours to meet up and talk, and the times for this (as well as dates) may be erratic. Aze will still be present at the unofficial meetups, but they are an optional type of meetup and are not at all required. Very few of them are likely to occur during the winter months, but unofficial meetups are likely to be common during the summer months. These meetups are free save for any quick stops at a coffee shop (such as Tim Hortons) that your child may wish to make. Aze is not responsible for any harm that may come from your child leaving the group to get food, but she will ensure that the group does not move (except to end the meetup) while your child is doing so, so long as your child remembers to tell Aze what they are doing.

Additionally, please keep things such as homework or other issues out of official meetups; however, some unofficial meetups may occur at libraries, and unofficial meetups are welcome spaces for your child(ren) to hang out while they do homework, and Aze is happy to help them with it if they choose to bring it.


7. Meetups do not change location during the meetup unless there has been a dangerous element identified, at which point I (Aze) will do my best to identify all participants and group them together to move them at most to a place near the original location, at which point you will be notified of the group's new location as soon as everyone has been settled again; if it is not feasible to do something as simple as move to the other side of a park or go to a park across the street, the meeting will be ended early. Should this happen, I will escort those requiring escorts to their methods of transportation, and alert all parents of the early end and the reason for it. I will continue to supervise those that must wait for a pick-up in the nearest safe public location, such as a coffee shop, and notify parents of where those awaiting pickup are. I will never transport the group by any vehicular means. I will never take the group more than ten minutes away from the original location by foot unless there is no alternative, and if I must do so, the meeting will end as a result but the group will stick together for security until everyone can be safely sent home. Parents will be informed of the change of location, the early end, and the reason for it as soon as it is safe to do so.

8. Above all else, if your child(ren) attend this meetup, I strive for security and transparency. I will not lie to you about your child's behavior or the behavior of others. If I make a mistake or a bad decision, I will own up to it, and I will be forthcoming with information about what the meetup did that day should you wish to know more about what sorts of things the meetup does or more involved in what your child(ren) are interested in. If there is something you don't agree with your child doing, I'm happy to talk with you about it and try to help reach an agreement you're comfortable with, but if you can't do so, I advise a termination of your child's involvement with the group. I'm not comfortable with anything that you aren't comfortable with as parents, and I won't be comfortable with putting your children in situations unless I'd be comfortable with putting my younger siblings and cousins (which I sometimes care for and often play a guardian-like role with) in the same situation. Granted, I'm not a parent, so I likely won't have as good judgement as you do, dear parents, but hopefully that's good enough.


Additionally, parents are encouraged to make an account and check in on the forums from time to time to ensure that they know what their child is being exposed to. While it isn't likely that they'll be exposed to anything bad, I would highly prefer that parents take an interest in their child(ren)'s life regardless, so that there's an open and honest line of communication between all parties.


If you have any other questions or concerns, or would like to set up individual guidelines regarding your child(ren), my phone number is 416 529 8892. Please text me during the hours of 5pm-11pm; you can call as well, but if you call, I don't have caller ID, so I won't know who's calling unless I save you as a contact and may not know to call you back. If I don't answer the phone, I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. If I don't respond in less than two to three days, please give me another call/text as a nudge. Alternatively, you can email me at aze.g@icloud.com.

Finally, while it is slightly out of date, I have completed first aid training and am willing to take a refresher course, undertook and passed basic Security Guard training, meaning that I know how the basics of dealing with unwanted elements, and have not been involved in any criminal activity. If you would like, I can get an up to date background check and scan it for any parents that would be reassured to see it.
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Aze
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Posts : 11
Join date : 2017-03-04
Age : 24
Location : Scarborough, Ontario

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