"Strangers Are Not Always Evil Looking ... Child molesters and
abductors usually look like everyday people. Tell your kids not to
talk to adults they do not know. Anytime they are approached by an
adult they should check with a parent or trusted adult immediately."
With the recent news attention
given to child abductions around the country, many children and parents
have been concerned. "How Child Molesters Gain A Child's Confidence.
Often times they will befriend a child by asking for help. Some examples
are: Asking to help find a lost pet; asking directions to someone's
house; offering reward money for assistance; saying Mom or Dad have
been hurt or need their help; acting like an undercover police officer
(children should only approach uniformed police officers, and/or marked
police cars). They may also gain your child's trust by very minor
contacts over several days, such as saying hello to them repeatedly.
Make sure your children know to tell you if a stranger is trying to
make friends with them." Excerpts from "Parent's
Guide to Preventing Child Abduction" http://www.isp.state.il.us/chldabd.html
While these suggestions
work well to help keep children safe from strangers, what can children
and teens do to help themselves and their peers stay safe from acquaintances,
and other people they may know? "School officials are taking
another look at students who have been convicted of serious crimes
following the alleged rape of a West High School girl at her school
during class hours.... The 16-year-old girl was walking to class in
a school hallway last week when a 16-year-old boy approached her,
police said. He walked with her into a nearby stairway where he sexually
assaulted her, police said.... The boy's 17-year-old sister was arrested
Wednesday for allegedly attacking the girl involved at school....
In a criminal complaint, she told police she attacked the girl 'because
she had my brother put in jail and she was out.'" http://www.channel3000.com/news/1680515/detail.html
And who can forget Columbine... "Looking
back, the clues were there. The obsession with weapons, war and
death. The endless rounds of bloody computer games. The vicious rantings
on the Internet.... Students saw the signs. They saw the two with
clubs and knives. Heard their essays and poems about suicide and murder.
Harris talk at lunch about blowing up the school." http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/shooting/0502why10.shtml
The country is on alert for terrorists.
We are supposed to be alert and watching. While most children and
teens will never come face to face with a terrorist, they may see
a troubled classmate. They may see a back stairway in the school that
doesn't seem safe. They may hear a friend talking about a nice man
or woman they have just met... someone who wants to take them somewhere....
Most schools and most school days escape
incident free. I want my school to be one of those schools. No one
wants to tattle, but no one wants school to be an unsafe place for
their friends or themselves.
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum