Responding to Code of Conduct Violations

We wish it would never happen, but sometimes as organizers we have to respond to bad behavior at our events. If you see or hear about any behavior that is making the event less welcoming or more intolerant, then please take the following steps:

  • Kindly but firmly explain that the behavior is unacceptable at WordPress events; if necessary, ask the person to leave. Do not shame them publicly, but also do not ignore the issue.
    • The three part method of conflict resolution could come in handy here: “When you… I feel… Next time, please do this…”
    • Another handy option is to approach the situation as a reminder “Do not forget this is a family-friendly event. We do not do…. ”
    • If all else fails, be calm but factual: “Remarks like that are against our code of conduct.”
  • Follow up with the person after the event with a little more explanation, and to thank them for being so willing to adjust (assuming of course that they did).
  • Make sure you follow up with the other organizers.

Creating an inclusive environment is an ongoing process of gentle course correction. No one ever got everything right the first time they tried, but we all get better with each nudge in the right direction.

Note: Very importantly, if the situation turns physically aggressive, violent, or otherwise dangerous, do not try to handle it yourself. Call the police if required.

Tip: Here is a quiz on this article. Read quizzes section of the welcome page if you have any questions about quizzes and how to navigate them.