Minor membership controversy

If MakeICT is susceptible to lawsuits from members or nonmembers because a policy is removed or there isn’t a specific policy stating “children under xyz must be supervised at all times” and could lose it’s status as a nonprofit, why would we risk it?

Isn’t XYZ = 16? We have that rule I thought.


It’s supposed to be a rule, but clearly not one people all care to follow.

It says you need to be “accompanied” by an adult. That brings to question if that word implies supervising a kid or if they just need to be in the building together.

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The point isn’t the specifics of the rule (like you said we currently have it), the point is that members would prefer to not follow it/remove it because “adults do the same/worse thing” which doesn’t make sense because we shouldn’t hold children to the adults of standards anyways, and guardians supervise how children interact with the spaces.


The reason for this thread was not to do away with that rule but to put more rules in place.

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Thank you for clarifying Malissa! I’ll reread the thread when I’ve got more time, I think I missed rule suggestions!


The “direct supervision” statement is under the guest policy. Are suggesting the when anyone brings guests in the space, that they can do and go where ever as long as the member checks on them every 30 minutes or so?

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yes that is what I’m suggesting. there’s a ton of good discussion in this thread but at the end of the day, what’s the policy going to be?

I guess I’d propose:

  • No unattended kids under 6
  • No guests left alone in the building
  • No guests if the member is under 18
  • Members should check in with their guests every 30 minutes
  • Members are responsible if their guests break the rules

If anyone wants to change something (want to make it 15 minutes? no unattended kids under 25?) just say it. I agree - every case is different, there is no perfect policy, my kids aren’t everybody’s kids, my kids aren’t perfect, some adults aren’t perfect, etc etc I’m just saying I trust 12 year olds a lot more than 3 year olds and there is some obvious benefit behind granting these kids a little freedom. we were all kids once. we could talk in circles forever but what do we want the policy to be?

in my family, if you don’t like the restaurant I suggested you have to make the next restaurant suggestion. trying to get us to that here.



I have a problem with a keyed member at age 17 uable to bring his sister age 21 into the space when she is home from college. What about his mother, or grandfather visiting from out of town.

I do think a member under 18 not bringing guests under 18 is more appropriate.



IMO. The current policy is great, as written, the enforcement is the problem. If the minors are with their parents that are NO ISSUES. I understand that every parent thinks that their child is the perfect little angle that could do not wrong. Speaking as a 57 year old single male, if I am the only one in a room with minors (without their parents) and there is not cameras around, the best thing for me is to leave the room, because one single accusation and my ass is grass! The policy says “DIRECT SUPERVISION” and that is what is means. Why do so many parents have an issue with watching their kids?


Id say raise the 6 age, and I have no problem with 16 year olds bringing guests of the same age, I would say limiting the number. A 16 year old member can bring one other 16 year old member for example.

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@ScottS I totally agree with you. It makes me a little nervous being around minors when there are no other adults around. I know I won’t do anything wrong, but I think we’ve all heard stories of false accusations being made by minors. Not that minors are the only ones who could make false accusations, but it seems that laws and authorities tend to take the side of a minor making accusations over the adult’s side of the story. Of course, I like kids and I think they should be at the space and learn to do things with their hands and minds, but I think they should be supervised by their guardians as much as possible.

I once left my daughter alone at the welcome center with my cell phone (and youtube) while i cut some melamine in the woodshop last spring(took about 20 min and i checked on her 3 times). I felt she was a lot safer there than in the woodshop with our half-ass dust collection system and dangerous machines. The more responsible thing i should have done is cut then melamine another day, but i felt she was safe with all the cameras and her ability to do a high pitched stranger danger scream.

I agree with @DanS and @ScottS

I’d propose:
-No kids or guests under 16 unattended in rooms with power tools and equipment (if they don’t have a membership, they aren’t necessarily trained to used power tools, they shouldn’t be alone. This isn’t the YMCA where there are designated kids locations)
-Kids could be unattended in the boardgame room/lounge area if checked on frequently.
-additional cameras never hurt, and/or if we want kids to roam MakeICT, then make it kidsafe. Each door that requires authorization to use tools to have a scanner for access.
-members 16-17 can bring 1 additional guest under 18, 2 guests if one guest is over 18 (say a parent and a sibling).

And I’d need to refresh up on what the policies say would happen should anyone not follow rules and someone gets injured, cause that should be addressed if it hasn’t already.


Hey folks,
I don’t see that we are resolving anything here. This Thursday I expect the board to approve a committee to look at the issue. At that time, I will go ahead and close down this thread and encourage you to attend that meeting if you are passionate about this topic.


I disagree with narrowing input to exclude people who for various reasons cannot attend a committee meeting. People do have prior commitments, work schedules and nany other reasons that their input isn’t feasible when input is limited to a meeting.


I hear you are saying that you would like to be able to add your conversation to the committee even if you can’t make a meeting. I will ask that they take emails and have an avenue to do a virtual meeting. And, of course, I would expect them to read through the 116 messages already in this thread which has been open for weeks. I have also left a few days for people to add anything to this thread before I close it down. (The thread cannot take action, so it needs to be directed to a source that can.)

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But DONT FRET! When she does I’ll open a new thread for some other controversial issue!


On Mon, Dec 12, 2022, 21:39 LaDeana Dockery via MakeICT Forum <noreply@talk.makeict.org> wrote:

| ladeana Board Member & Classroom Management
December 13 |

  • | - |

I hear you are saying that you would like to be able to add your conversation to the committee even if you can’t make a meeting. I will ask that they take emails and have an avenue to do a virtual meeting. And, of course, I would expect them to read through the 116 messages already in this thread which has been open for weeks. I have also left a few days for people to add anything to this thread before I close it down. (The thread cannot take action, so it needs to be directed to a source that can.)

Visit Topic or reply to this email to respond.

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I know this thread has been open for 2 weeks but I don’t get on here often enough to have seen it before. However, I do have some things I want to say.
First, Does anyone else have complaints or comments regarding younger folks?
My complaint would be that I have seen adults in the building be disrespectful to or about someone who they perceive to be young. I would hope that these “adults” who have made comments about children not being welcome would understand how that can actually cause issues for the individuals they are making the comment about. I do what to say that this isn’t directed to this post and especially to Ben for making this thread. This is about the fact that I actually had a 14 year old with me sitting and reading a book while I was talking to another adult. He was being supervised and he was being very well behaved. Yet it didn’t stop the adult from making comments about how he was unwanted in the building and how they knew this child was going to be another menace to MakeICT. Now he is to afraid to come back to take any classes because he has been informed he is unwanted, I am disappointed by this behavior from someone who is supposed to be an adult.

Does membership think MakeICT is intended as an adult space?
I would say that I personally feel like this is more for the adults but is not an adult only place nor do I think it should exclude children.

Should we avoid topics/themes?
As a mom myself I would say absolutely not. Children are going to be exposed to things by just turning on the tv or getting on FB. Why censor Art instead of teaching kids freedom of expression?

If there is a 16 year old member, should they be allowed to wander the halls unattended (at all hours past curfew)?
Yes. A paying 16 year old member should be treated like we treat other members. Also, per the curfew, it states they can be out at all hours if it is a recreational activity where they have an adult take responsibility for them. Therefor, a minor who has a parent/guardian sign for them to become a member then, in fact, has an adult who is taking responsibility for them and they are partaking in a recreational activity and are not breaking any laws by being in our building at any given time of day or night.

How should 16 year olds be taught/ corrected/ how should their accusations be handled?
They should be taught just like any other member. and explain why you mean by accusations?

After reading all the comments on this thread it seems like maybe we are more against the youth. There are assumptions that the youth are the ones breaking things and although it may be the case, it can also be that there are adults breaking things. I hope that we are making sure we know it was a kid and not making that assumption based on the fact that a kid is around during the time something might have happened. A kid cleaning the locker or going to the bathroom shouldn’t be a concern. If the kids are being dropped off without a supervision and they are not a member or 16 or older then they aren’t supposed to be here anyway. But the issue is not that there are kids but that there are people that are here that are not supposed to be. This includes adults. I have seen plenty of rules being broken unfortunately but when I am around it is during school hours and it is actually adults that are not following rules. Also, there are assumptions about people’s ages and you never know how old someone actually is. For example, at age 36 I am often mistaken for early 20s. I still remember when I was in my 20s and a mother of 2, I had someone I work with get after me for talking about wanting to go home and have a beer because they don’t support underage drinking. I had someone get angry accusing me of lying about my 6 year old being that young because she was so tall they knew she was at least 8. We never know how old someone is by looking at them and we need to be making questions before assuming rules are being broken.
I don’t think being more restrictive towards a certain age group is actually going to solve the issues we have. I think it would be more towards the fact that we need to figure out better ways of making sure that members are checking in guests and that we are making sure we aren’t using equipment we are not responsible for or letting our guests do the same. We are to be excellent to each other and that should be regardless of age as much as sex or race.

There were some comments about kids training others on equipment. If the 16y/o isn’t authorized they can’t use the equipment same as if a 66y/o isn’t authorized. If the 16 y/o isn’t authorized to train others on that equipment to become authorized users then they can’t teach others to use it same as if he were 66 y/o.
Ultimately, it just seems as there are rules that aren’t being followed or enforced and we need to maybe focus less on the age of people and more on just following the rules period.


I think saying that we are “against the youth” because we feel that the rules about suppervising children for their safety is quite a stretch. I love kids. I have never once suggested that we shouldnt have kids in the space. I have only pleaded the case on supervision of young children, which, as we have discussed, should be part of the followed rules anyway. I hate to be given some sort of reputation that I hate kids and am against them being in the space. That’s the last I will say on this, sonce this thread was supposed to be shut down, I just really disagree with the “against the youth” part, since that is not at all what this is about.


It is great that you haven’t suggested that we shouldn’t have kids here and if that is the case then then you can rest easy that you aren’t part of creating that kind of environment. As I stated, following the rules is the issue not the age of the kids themselves so I also agree that supervision is one of the rules to be followed.
However, we are creating an environment that isn’t kid friendly and that should be addressed if that isn’t what we want. I can say from personal experience the first time I visited the new location at an open house that I was shocked with the response I got from bringing my own children. When, I had visited the space in the old location, not only had I brought kids but my brother had taken my son to build robots as a bonding time and my son had always felt welcome. When I came to the new location, I was greeted by someone of authority that let me know that in the new location, that was no longer acceptable and that my children weren’t even welcome to come to the lounge with me. I was heart broken as my kids love creating and are in my home shop with me often. My daughter wanted to take some sewing classes so bad and actually cried later that she couldn’t take classes with me like my son did with my brother years ago. I was surprised that a younger boy was with his dad in one of my authorization classes and had done some inquiring later about it. From my personal experience bringing kids and asking leadership people from different areas about it, kids technically can be there with supervision but they weren’t welcome or wanted by an overwhelming amount of people I talked to personally. I am also not the only parent I know who has encountered this kind of response in regards to children simply because of nothing but the number of days around the sun.
So, if we don’t want that reputation then we need to acknowledge that it is one that is growing with our name. We can’t fix it if we don’t acknowledge it exists and if we proceed with creating stricter rules centered around the youth purely for their age as some have suggested then that will have an impact on it.