Research shows that prevention taught in the schools work. The reason for this is multi-faceted. After a mother a teacher is the second most likely person a child will disclose abuse to. This puts teachers in a crucial role for the safety of our children. In addition, most CSA is happening by family members and the like this means that school becomes the safe place for children and the perfect place to discuss these important topics.
We have 3 separate curriculums. Box 1 is for nursery- 2nd grade Box 2 is for 3rd-6th and box 3 is for 7th-10th grade. These grades are what’s recommended but, you can mix and match as you see fit. If the class that you have is developmentally a bit behind you can use a younger box and the same goes true for an older box if your class is more savvy.
The program cannot be simpler to implement. A teacher manual is included in each box that contains the educational goals of each lesson, sample scripts, all the teaching cards and parent newsletters to go home after each lesson.
Everyone’s comfort level is unique and belongs to them. That being said great care was used to make sure the images are all modest and appropriate to present to children in a classroom setting.
This can sometimes happen where a child will start to tell a story or ask a question that sets off some alarm bells in your gut. Keep calm and take a deep breath. Let the child know that what she/he is saying sounds really important so you want to make sure to give it proper attention and you will continue it after class. Then resume the lesson and once class is done you can call over that student and ask if he/she wants to continue telling you what they started. If it sounds like a disclosure you will have to follow the next steps to reporting. If it sounds like something you are unsure of, bring the child with you to the school therapist and see if you can get some help. Always remain calm and even keeled as to not alarm the child as we don’t yet know what the next steps will be yet.
Some families have different ideas of safety and kids will let you know that. Simply remain calm and say just that, “every family makes their own safety rules, these are just what we call best practices. You can discuss this with your parent when you get home if you would like and figure it out together.” Then just resume the lesson. The more you can answer quickly and naturally the easier it will be to quiet those children who are trying to argue. Some kids will have more questions or feel uneasy because they really do feel unsafe in their home situation with their parents “safety rules.” If you notice that, let the kids know that they can talk to you after class, or write you a note if they have further questions that they don’t want to ask in front of the class.
This is a safety issue and when it comes to health and safety trusted adults make those rules. Private parts are private and should not be touched except if a trusted adult needs to clean you.
For younger kids you can say something like “some people don’t know the body safety rules and so if you tell me I can teach them.” This helps kids not feel scared to tell even if it is someone they love that is hurting them. For older kids you can say something like, “some people have a sickness and do touch children’s private parts, it’s not safe and if you tell me I can get that person help and make sure they do not do that anymore.” These types of responses help children not feel guilty for getting these offenders into “trouble” as they are merely getting them help and making the behavior stop.
While this can be very jarring for the teacher your response will dictate how big this situation gets. Simply say something like, “that’s not a bad word, but it’s also not an appropriate word to use in school like this.” Say it very matter of fact and move on. If a child insists on saying this again, explain that it is a private word meant for discussing health and safety. Then you can brainstorm who in their life helps that child with health and safety. If you are on the list ask the child if they have a health or safety question or something to tell you that has to do with their private parts. If they don’t than reiterate that piece and move on.