Article V: professional conduct

  1. The American Forensic Association (AFA) is committed to promoting professional communication conduct. The members of the AFA recognize the adversarial and competitive nature of academic debate and individual events may place students, directors, coaches, judges, and tournament administrators in situations where professional conduct by participants may be called into question.
  2. The explicit focus of this policy addresses conduct by participants outside the specific time period when a student is competing in a round during a tournament. Participants include audience members, students, directors, coaches, judges, and tournament officials.
  3. The AFA acknowledges the district and national tournaments sponsored by the association are designed to promote responsible and effective discourse. The AFA recognizes that behaviors which belittle, degrade, demean, or otherwise dehumanize others are not in the best interest of the activities sponsored by the AFA. Such behaviors interfere with the goals of forensic education.
  4. All participants in an AFA sponsored event shall recognize the rights of others and communicate with respect for opponents, colleagues, critics, tournament hosts and audience members. Behaviors by any tournament participants occurring at an AFA sponsored event that violate the community standard of a healthy educational environment shall be deemed "Unprofessional Conduct." Unprofessional conduct is subject to sanction(s) by the AFA.
  5. Forensics educators shall act in accordance with their own institutional obligations. Failure to adhere to employer's policies (e.g., a person suspended or terminated for violations of university sexual harassment policy, substance abuse policy, fiduciary policy or academic responsibility policy may be subject to sanctions by the AFA).
  6. A charge of unprofessional conduct shall follow the appropriate steps detailed in Article 6: Adjudication Procedures.