Minor membership controversy

I have noticed a number of issues and rules broken around kids at MakeICT and plan on discussing our minor’s policies with the board. Before I did that, I wanted to hear from other members and start up a discussion with a larger audience. Does anyone else have complaints/ comments regarding younger folks? Does membership think MakeICT is intended as an adult space? Should we avoid adult topics/ themes in the space? If there is a 16 year old member, should they be allowed to wander the hauls unattended(at all hours past curfew)? How should 16 year olds be taught/ corrected/ how should their accusations be handled?
How many rooms do not have cameras installed (I know a couple that need cameras).

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On one hand, I don’t think a parent needs to accompany their 16 year old to go to the bathroom. On another hand, minors especially below say the age of 16 should still have general supervision. If I leave, lets say, a ceramics piece behind to dry, I trust when I come back the next day safe. I can imagine though if minors are roaming, depending on the age they can be particularly rambunctious, potentially causing damage to makers work. I am accusing no parent or child of being unbehaved, but not all children do behave, or have the capacity to consider their surroundings.

When I bring a guest, the rule is that I am responsible for that guest and that I accompany them. I don’t think it should be different for minors (perhaps again with the exception of older minors using the restroom).

I do feel like makers should not have to limit or hinder their creativity though to make only PG creations. Just as it is a parents responsibility to monitor what their child watches on youtube, not the creators responsibility to create “kid friendly” content, I think it should be the same at MakeICT.

This is just my personal two cents if we want to start a discussion about it!


Ive always enjoyed the fact that we’ve been a family friendly environment, hopefully that never changes. Everytime i have brought either of my kids to the space, they have stayed at my side or sat at the welcome center while i worked in the woodshop and not wandered around.
I teach my kids that there is no such thing as a bad word, but to always be aware of your audience when you say things that might be offensive. I think if we follow the code of conduct and not say racist or bigotted things around anyone, including kids, all other language is ok in my book. Both of my kids have listened tl Wap by Carde B on several occassions and i have asked them to never sing that song around grandma.


Just to tag another comment on about adult themes. I think we should compare ourselves to an art gallery. One wouldnt typically go to an art gallery and complain to anyone about seeing breasts on a Klimpt or a penis on the statue of David. I think all of us would agree that would be laughable. We never know which one of us is going to be the next Klimpt or Michaelangelo, and I would hate a rule about keeping art PG to hold anyone back. And at that, what will we define as PG or not? My eyeball series is what one might consider body horror and disturbing. Where would a line be drawn?





If they are a member in good standing then they should be treated as any other member, following such rules as is imposed on regular members.

Please clarify since this is a bit broad.

I’ve met many adults that are far more childish then some 8yo and some 8yo wiser then adults. If there is a member going against the established rules and policies then it should be reported. I highly discourage any action solely on the basis of physical age as a blanket policy/response to the space.

As far as talking about things of age appropriateness in the space, spacial awareness is key. Know what is going on around you.


Your question seems loaded, but definitely in favor of having young adult members, and children as guests in the makerspace.


To clarify, @MAtherton I have found a number of times when younger people have been wandering the halls. I have asked who they came with and talked with their member host. It has happened repeatedly, but security said there wasn’t much they could do.
There has been talk about what art is appropriate. At the gallery comitee (who doesn’t want any), the board meeting and at recent Anti Discrimination/Anti Harassment Committee meeting.
I agree with @Bee if it goes in an art gallery, then it should be allowed at MakeICT.
I have zero issues with well behaved kidos who have a host @GrapeApe @jwithers.
This is slightly loaded @squarenuts because I don’t want to be responsible for teenagers or haveing any art censorship @michelle

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Out of curiosity I just searched our member database. We currently have 4 members under the age of 18. Two are 17 and have active badges, one is 16 with an active badge, and one is 11 with a badge that does not open the doors. There are 5 if we count @james.a.seymour, who was born in 2018 according to his member profile…

I could see an argument for not allowing minors to bring in minors as guests or potentially restricting hours if there is some conflict with state/local laws.

I don’t know who told you that but I would definitely disagree. The host member is responsible for following the rules. If they repeatedly violate them (especially after being warned) then Security or the Board can revoke their access and/or membership.


So what is so bad about the naked form?

Like, isn’t censorship of the human body implying that either it is something horrible to behold (not very body positive) or something overtly desirable (which objectifies the subject)? Either way it’s not very excellent to the subject or its maker. Like ‘oh that sculpture shows its ankle… BURN THE WITCH’ of course I do hyperbolize.

As for minors, as long as they aren’t digging new tunnels in the… oh wait you mean kids.

Kids belong in the makerspace, EXCEPT there are very real things that can kill them. Also kids are inexperienced at avoiding death. So it may not dawn on them intuitively that the metalshop lathe can pick them up and spin them around like a flat tire on a highway. Hence they need to have an eye kept on them.

I’ve met kids that are cool af and would have no problem rattling around the makerspace like any adult. The decision to set the age at 16 was a long discussion. It was more to keep kids safe rather than keeping them from seeing a pair of natural baby bottles or a meat sword.

I’m super intrigued about the eyeball thing…


There are city curfews in place for minors for school nights, and slightly later for weekends. They differ depending on age. So yes, if you’re a minor bringing younger minor friends, legally you shouldn’t be in the space past 10 or 11 weekdays and midnight on weekends. I would have to check the ordinances to be certain, but that’s what I recall.
That being said, I probably wouldn’t say anything unless I saw something concerning going on, and that’s a bigger issue.
I do think cameras in all the rooms should be installed. And I do think members need to realize they can’t use ANY equipment without being certified. I’m mostly thinking of ceramics, since that’s my main area of interest.


One thing i would like to add, i think its a blessing we are able to provide a safe and productive space for 16 and 17 year olds. When kids dont have anything to do, some (like me) will cause trouble and break laws. I dont have enough fingers and toes to count the amount of minor felonies i commited on a monthly basis when i was 16 and 17 and never did i follow any weekend curfew. Thankfully i was extemely lucky i never got into any trouble or was killed. Some arent as lucky.


I have no issue with kids of any age. I’ve had kids in my handbuilding class as young as 5.Paula brought her 10 year old grand daughter who was behaved and we created a fantastic frog. I bring my grandkids in when they are in town and they love it. I’m the art gram ma. Depending on the kid depends on the level of freedom. Some kids are well behaved and know how to conduct themselves while others need supervision. As far as touching stuff, I see just as many adults touching stuff during tours or as a guest with another member. It is frustrating because we all put a lot of time and effort into our work. Some people like me make things as a side income so it’s very upsetting when something is damaged that is a commissioned piece. I do have an issue with censorship in relation to art. I got commissioned to make a penis/vagina bowl a while back. I didn’t make it pornographic but someone could of been offended by the subject matter. I made a few hundred off that piece. This is part of my income, I don’t like the idea of being told I can’t make something because of a difference in opinion of what is offensive. I will put my stuff off to the side if controversial, so its not in your face as soon as you walk in. Many of us use the space for the equipment while running our own side hustle.


Curfew laws are to prevent loitering in public places so bored teenagers don’t find trouble, not to confine teenagers to their homes. There are multiple exceptions to the laws. This was extensively discussed with my teenager who’s now a college freshmen when he learned to make logical arguments regarding his own curfew. Traveling on the most direct route between home and anyplace which would be appropriate is one exception.
Minors should be treated like adults; with respect. If you aren’t their parent, you are not in charge of parenting them. If they are in a class, you should expect to teach them. If they are not, you should be polite similarly to an adult with regard to discussing safe machine operation etc.
If they are keyed members they have all the rights and privileges that come with being keyed members. 16 year olds are eligible to be keyed members. That means using the restroom without a chaperone.
We have sponsored school activities here periodically and are discussing a new one for next semester. There are adult chaperones. The middle schoolers Kim Burton has worked with have been quite helpful to the garden even with only an hour of daylight. Next semester’s would be dependent upon teachers becoming members/qualified on the equipment and/or existing members sponsoring (accompanying and running the equipment they are qualified for) in any spaces used.
Security breaches should be reported to security. It should be remembered that it is not possible to discern someone’s exact age based upon their appearance. My daughter will likely remain shorter than 5’ her entire life and based upon how much she resembles her aunt, will appear youthful past the age of 50 let alone past 16.
I heartily support security cameras everywhere except the restrooms. There is no reason to assume only folks of certain ages break items. Security has been working on how to best use funds to accomplish wider coverage.
Topics of discussion are to be treated in accordance with the code of conduct for anyone. There are not topics restricted solely based upon age. If you don’ t know this young person well, you should take care regarding your conversation the same as you should with an adult you don’t know well. If a minor’s conversation bothers you based upon their age, I would question why it bothers you. If you’re fine with that conversation from an adult, it’s not really your business that they’re a minor unless they’re your child.
The Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Committee has not shown any interest in censoring art, only conduct. We aren’t a religious institute but religious items have been made here. We aren’t a political institute but political things have been made here. Political items aren’t displayed publicly. Making art is uncensored. It is theoretically possible that art might be used for harassment, but the harassing behavior would be the problem rather than the art. Art is intended to make a person feel something, but if that something could be hurtful then it shouldn’t be shoved in anyone’s face. So let’s take a wooden cross as an example; make the cross, but don’t wave it in peoples’ faces saying they’re going to hell if they don’t repent for being an artist. So minors do not affect the question of censorship at all.


Exactly. if i saw a kid after curfew, I wouldnt say anything. They could be doing drugs or other dangerous activities but vhose to be at our organization instead.


I have not experienced this but i have heard others who have.
If a member brings a guest in who is touching ceramics and breaking said ceramics by accident or reckless carelessness how should this be handled? The member of the guest are not controlling the actions of said guest.
Nobody likes to put time and efforts into a project to have it destroyed.
Personally I teach my grandkids to not touch what they dont own without permission.


The member bringing the guest is responsible for their guests’ actions. That also relates to the tailgating (badge tailgating) posted on the front doors. If you let someone else in without them scanning their badge, you’re responsible for them.

A security camera is ceramics is a wise idea. Probably multiple as one won’t be adequate to catch all of the views needed.


‘There is no reason to assume only folks of certain ages break items’

I guess that is a form of ageism and not very 'be excellent to eachother’ish.


On Fri, Dec 2, 2022, 17:32 Frank Mitchell via MakeICT Forum <noreply@talk.makeict.org> wrote:

| Frank
December 2 |

  • | - |

I have not experienced this but i have heard others who have.
If a member brings a guest in who is touching ceramics and breaking said ceramics by accident or reckless carelessness how should this be handled? The member of the guest are not controlling the actions of said guest.
Nobody likes to put time and efforts into a project to have it destroyed.
Personally I teach my grandkids to not touch what they dont own without permission.

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I felt I was very diverse in my word crafting to not subject my concerns to minors but i used the broader term guest as all inclusiveness blanket term!


When rules are broken in an area, report the problem to a lead or security. They should be empowered to take action. If leads or security isn’t taking action report that to a board member.

At 16, we allow people to be members with all the privileges and responsibilities that entails.

Anyone below 16 needs to be accompanied by an adult in the MakerSpace.


@Ben.rogers thanks for bringing up these thought provoking questions!
A lot to unpack and I welcome a healthy productive discussion on each talking point!!
*I believe there are members who thought/believed this was an adult space
*I don’t believe it is ok for kids to be roaming the halls or be in departments without their keyed/badged member.
*kids are cool

  • when I leave the ceramics department I also expect things not to be broken however, Alot of kids and small children have been in lately and sadly, all the work time and effort people are putting into their pieces are getting broken.

I look forward to more discussion however if we could keep the PERSONAL stuff out of the topics that would fantastic

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