The NCAA’s penalties for the Penn State’s football program send a clear message from the national level that child safety should be put ahead football, winning, and hero worship. The message that the well-being of kids is more important than sports is revolutionary. By moving through this hard situation, Penn State Football, and the University as a whole, can develop a reputation of true excellence built on a foundation of integrity, courage, and safety.
Here are five steps Kidpower recommends to protect children from being betrayed by someone they love and trust.
For our special press release about this educational outreach, we need quotes from people who have used our program to help make kids safer.
Sad story about a second grade teacher in Clovis, California, who allegedly molested of his students left parents and teachers wondering who to trust, what to tell their children, and how to keep their kids safe from this ever happening again. Kidpower recommends these seven actions to parents, teachers, and other caring adults for protecting their kids from abuse.
Yet another young life has been tragically lost because of bullying. Last week, fourteen-year-old Phillip Parker committed suicide. His parents say he had been cruelly bullied for being gay. It’s not enough to love your kids and to be upset and worried about the bullying. Parents, educators, youth leaders, and all caring adults must take these actions to help prevent young people who are being bullied from being overwhelmed by despair.
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What other child abuse survivors say about why they didn’t tell is sadly similar to what Ralph West says in the interview about his experience. “I was freaked out. You don’t know what to do. Are you going to blow the lid? All you want to do is pretend it didn’t happen. You want to hide and bury it.”It is terribly sad that this happened – and even more sad that, even all these years and stories later, too many kids today STILL don’t know what to do.
The Penn State Football child abuse case is a classic story of someone misusing his position of trust and power to abuse and coerce kids and of adults in responsible positions not taking action to stop him. The knowledge and skills we teach in Kidpower could have helped to protect these vulnerable boys from harm – and could have caused the abuse to have been discovered and stopped much, much sooner.
A mother of a student in our Colorado center sent us a letter about how her daughter used Kidpower skills to avoid an assault and keep herself safe.
Dr. Amy Tiemann, Kidpower North Carolina Center Director and my co-author on our new book project, Doing Right by Our Kids, points out that the public safety message “If you see something, say something” is equally relevant for child safety.