Staff Procedure For Incident Response

Be sure to have a good understanding of our Code of Conduct.

Also have a good understanding of what is expected from an attendee that wants to report an incident: Attendee Procedure For Reporting Code of Conduct Incidents.

When taking an incident report:

  1. Ask the reporter if they want to go to a quiet space
  2. Be an active listener and don’t use judgement words
  3. Ensure the reporter’s safety
  4. Seek additional emergency resources as needed
  5. Take down the report and ask any clarifying questions
  6. Thank the reporter for reporting the incident
  7. Report the incident to the lead incident responders

While gathering information from the reporter:

  1. Do not invite them to withdraw the incident report
  2. Do not ask for their advice on how to immediately respond to the incident
  3. Do not offer them input into the long-term response to the incident
  4. Do not promise any particular response, since it may differ from the official response decided by the lead incident responders

Try to get as much of the incident in written form by the reporter. If you cannot, transcribe it yourself as it was told to you. The important information to gather include the following:

Assess whether an immediate response is necessary. This initial response is very important and will set the tone for Boston Python. Depending on the severity/details of the incident, please follow these guidelines:

Respond to reporter needs. You can:

Once something is reported, the lead incident responders should meet. The main objectives of this meeting is to:

After the staff meeting and discussion, a staff member (preferably the event coordinator if available) may choose to communicate with the reported person.

When following up with a reported person:

People who are reported often get upset, defensive, or deny the report. Allow them to give any additional details about the incident. However, remember:

What follows are examples of possible responses to an incident report. This list is is not inclusive, and Boston Python reserves the right to take any action it deems necessary. Possible responses to an incident include:

If a reported person wants to appeal the decision, notify them that they may contact the Boston Python leaders Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to encourage an apology from the reported person.

It is very important how we deal with the incident publicly. Our policy is to make sure that everyone aware of the initial incident is also made aware that it is not according to policy and that official action has been taken, while still respecting the privacy of individual attendees. When speaking to individuals (those who are aware of the incident, but were not involved with the incident) about the incident it is a good idea to keep the details out.

Depending on the incident, the organizers or their designate may decide to make one or more public announcements. No one other than the organizer or someone delegated authority from the organizer should make any announcements.

If some attendees were angered by the incident, it is best to apologize to them that the incident occurred to begin with. If there are residual hard feelings, suggest to them to write an email to organizers ( It will be dealt with accordingly.

This procedure has been adapted from the Ada Initiative’s guide titled “Conference anti-harassment/Responding to Reports” and has been updated by Otter Tech.