Where do you begin? The horror of the children, now grown, retelling of the abuse of their mentor? How do we begin to make sense of this or make sure we can stop this kind of abuse?
SO MANY CHILDREN ARE WALKING AROUND SHROUDED WITH TERRIBLE SECRETS!
Again, I will tell you that we have public education. That is in and of itself imperfect, but one of the best things I can tell you about it is that children go to scool. They are there on a regular basis with people who, in general, care about their well-being. Teachers and administrators are actually paid to make a concerted effort toward each child, most do it because they love it, and truly care.
So we have the children there, all of them, the abused, the molested, the unwashed, the unfed, the children of neglectful or ambivalent parents...you see the children every day, but they might not look in need.
So, if a teacher, talks about the worth of a person, and what good and bad behavior looks and feels like when a child is young, they are talking to two audiences. The ones who look up interestingly at him, never having felt anything but love and kindness, and the others, who also look up interestingly, thinking, he is talking about me and what I’m going through.
I always ask children to listen and no hands up until after the lesson. I explain that I would really like to hear what they have to say, but we will talk afterward. That is because the whole group does not need to know what their for example- mom’s boyfriend has been doing, etc. But the principal, and parents and authorities might need to know.
So as much as I would like all of the great parents to teach situational to children. I need to get the public schools to teach this, and every one of their trusted, safe adults need to establish with them that:
THEY ARE SPECIAL, AND CARED FOR AND THEY WILL PROTECT YOU,
NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO HURT YOU, SCARE YOU,THREATEN YOU,TOUCH YOU
WHERE YOUR BATHING SUIT COVERS, OR TAKE YOU AWAY FROM THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND TRUST.
When you read about these young men [allegedly molested by Sandusky], most had come from broken homes, foster homes, uncertain of the support of good and trusted adults. They were ripe, for the grooming by this monster. They had no self worth, and did not have a safety plan in “their back pocket” as we say, to ward off this behavior, and recognize it for what it was.
PLEASE SUPPORT THE RIGHT OF EVERY SCHOOL CHILD TO BE TAUGHT SITUATIONAL SAFETY, TO SAY NO TO ALL BAD BEHAVIOR, AND BAD SITUATIONS, TO SUPPORT THEM IN GOING QUICKLY AND TELLING, TO SAVE FIRST THEMSELVES, AND ANY OTHER CHILDREN WHO COULD BE POTENTIALLY HARMED.
If not my curriculum, then pick one that you feel is best, but do teach them self worth and how to be safe, for the rest of their lives.
Melinda Reynolds Tripp
Child Advocate and Author of
What Should You Do? Helping Children Protect Themselves in the Twenty- First Century
On Amazon, and through Tate Publishing. 2010 Paperback, E-book, and on Audio download
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