CHILD SAFETY IS A FULL-TIME JOB
Danger At School: Does your child's school have a predator?
TIPS FOR ADULTS FOR KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ON THE INTERNET, AT SCHOOL, AND AWAY FROM HOME:
Visitors since July, 2006: (13,000 previous visitors)
|School Safety||Internet Safety||Baby-Proof House||School Violence|
|Street Safety||No Yelling At Home||No Yelling At School||Andrew Vachss|
|Tough Love||Safety in Other Places||Dealing With Bullies||Sibling Rivalry|
SAFETY STATISTICS FROM THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRANSPORATION SAFETY BOARD
A child has the right to live without being sexually molested, sexually harassed, or used in any way.
A child has the right to live in a safe environment.
A child has the right to have a parent(s) or guardian(s) who care(s) about him/her.
child has the right to live without physical or verbal abuse, including
criticism and yelling.
child has the right to eat three meals a day, wear clean, warm clothing,
and have a roof over his head.
A child has the right to privacy as soon as
he/she requests it.
child has the right to an education (with or without a home, birth
certificate, or immunizations) where he/she will be treated as equal
to his peers and respected by adults ,
,without verbal or physical abuse from adults or peers.
child has the right to ask questions so she/he can learn about the world.
child has the right to be disciplined without violence.
A child has the right to be included in a group no matter what his race, religion, or handicap.
No society will ever rise higher than its weakest, smallest members. Unless they are lifted too, they will pull society down. -Kidsread
NO YELLING IN THE CLASSROOM Click here for No Yelling in the Home)
Yelling is okay under the following conditions: a) You are under age 8, outside, and do not live in an apartment complex; b) You are being attacked by a bear; c) You have been stuck in freeway traffic for 5 hours and need to use the restroom. Yelling in the classroom is okay when: a) a bulldozer has knocked out one of your walls, b) the visiting school board member has passed out on the first row of children, or c) little Mikey in the second row is teaching Hari-Kari to little Charlie in the third row.
Is your child's teacher being verbally abusive? If your child is in grade three or below you can request a transfer to a different teacher and give the principal a written complaint about the abusive teacher. When enough written complaints are received the principal can take action, even if the teacher has tenure (rank based on years teaching). Hand-written is okay, typed is even better. If you fail to do this then other kids will suffer the same way your child did. Keep a daily log of your child's experience at school and show it to the principal. In grades four and above it may be a good idea to let your child remain in the class and teach the child how to deal with verbal abuse since they will experience it later in life either on the job, in the neighborhood, or when dealing with the public. Use your own judgement. If the verbal abuse is severe then report it to the principal and decide whether the problem can be corrected or whether to transfer your child. If it is annoying but not severe teach your child to ignore it and focus on his work and his friends. Tell him/her that the teacher has a problem but your child doesn't have to let it be his/her problem. If the principal is not cooperative you can take this problem, along with your journal, to the School Board, or place child in home schooling or private school for the rest of the year. This is a drastic step that will affect your child's social development so it is important to try and solve the problem first.
The author is sorry to say that she once witnessed a principal (who felt the world would end if there was not absolute silence) using a bullhorn in a lunch room to yell at, threaten, and intimidate little children for 15 minutes while they were trying to eat their lunches. It didn't work (duh). First, absolute silence is not a realistic or fair expectation for kids, (only for teachers who have just been told they are getting a reduction in pay) and second, the kids simply rebelled, knowing that the principal didn't have eyes in the back of her head and couldn't see 360 degrees, unlike them. Needless to say, their appetites were spoiled and they learned very little that afternoon, and probably forgot what they learned the day before. The author was very disappointed to see someone who was being paid upwards of $70,000 a year out of taxpayer money but who thought school was for testing Nazi theory.
Yelling doesn't work. Studies show that a child's brain actually stops functioning when they are being yelled at, and it cannot accept new information (meaning, it becomes like many adult brains). Learning stops. The definition of insanity is: doing the same thing repeatedly even after repeated failure (okay, so this describes every legislature in the country). Yelling is the closest thing there is to repeated failure. Why do we yell when it just makes everyone feel bad? Because it makes us feel good? Because someone yelled at us? Our volume control is stuck on loud? Bad reasons. A child will try every crayon in the box when coloring (unfortunately, sometimes on the walls). We, as adults, can learn from these little children. If something doesn't work, keep trying until you find something that does work! Use every crayon in the box! Use every trick in the hat until you find one that works, then keep that one handy.
Be realistic about what to expect from kids. Be tolerant. Growing up takes time (90 years for some people). A certain level of busy noise caused by contented kids completing an assignment is normal and healthy. Total silence in a class can be a warning sign for child advocates and child behavior specialists, who can tell the difference between a 'happy quiet' and a 'tense quiet' environment by the children's body language. It isn't healthy unless the kids are totally engrossed in reading or watching a sad movie. However, you do need them to be quiet when you are giving them instructions, but this can be done without noticeable hysteria or vocal abuse.
How to quiet a noisy class or group without yelling:
For more ideas see the book "Discipline:101 Alternatives to Nagging, Yelling, and Spanking" by Dr. Alvin Price and Jay A. Parry
NO YELLING AT HOME (You decide what works for you)
Yelling in the home is okay if, a) a train has crashed into your living room, b) your children have turned into werewolves, or c) scary aliens have landed on your roof.
Let's face it. There is never going to be absolute quiet for long periods of time in a home with happy children (although some children are more calm and quiet than others). If you are one of those people who requires absolute quiet and you have children, then it's time to have earplugs surgically implanted in your ears. A certain amount of tolerance is necessary, and a certain amount of facing reality, but when you get to the point that you are becoming irritable don't yell, try one of the following:
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DOES THIS ALL SEEM A LITTLE PARANOID? ACTUALLY, THIS IS BEING AWARE AND INFORMED, NOT PARANOID. THE BEST WAY TO KNOW YOUR CHILD IS SAFE IS TO ALWAYS KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOUR CHILD IS. THIS ISN'T EASY, SO STAY CLOSE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO YOU TRUST SO THEY CAN HELP. CHILD SAFETY IS A FULL-TIME JOB. IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO KEEP A CHILD SAFE.
LAST TIP: LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELINGS. ANY THING PERTAINING TO YOUR CHILD THAT YOU DON'T FEEL RIGHT ABOUT IS PROBABLY NOT ALRIGHT. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT ANY PERSON OR ACTIVITY, BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (back to top)
|BABY-PROOF YOUR HOME|
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A child doesn't care how much you know
until he knows how much you care.
Sometimes children have been so spoiled, neglected, or abused either verbally or physically, that they don't respond to normal methods of discipline. Other times they are simply very strong-willed and determined. Dr. James Dobsen, author, lecturer, and radio show host, has published an outstanding book called "The Strong-Willed Child," that tells numerous ways for adults to deal with stubbornness without being abusive. His bottom line is that kids thrive on discipline when it is properly used-- discipline, not abuse (no hitting or yelling). When kids are given limits and boundaries and expected to stay within them, they know you care.
Tough love is when your toughness matches the stubbornness of the child in question. It requires consistency and follow-through. For example, when children are given loving instructions and they fail to follow them, it's time to take away TV, Nintendo, or computer privileges until compliance has been reached. Always make sure they complete the task before they return to play.
With older kids who aren't following rules about curfews, use of the car, or proper public behavior it may be necessary to confiscate the car keys for a day or two, or revoke other privileges which mean a lot to them. They need to learn that cars, computers, video games, movies, etc. are privileges, not rights, and they need to be earned through responsible behavior.
In extreme cases where they might be violations of the law, instead of paying bail and taking Jr. home, ask the judge in private if he can arrange for your child to have a supervised visit to the jail and talk to prisoners so Jr. can see what he is missing. Or ask the judge to let Jr. perform community service instead of jail-time so that he suffers actual consequences for his actions instead of just being excused for a first offense, as if first offenses are not a big concern.
If your child is attending parties where alcohol is served and not being responsible about driving, show him/her you care. Revoke driving privileges. Teach your child that drinking and driving don't mix. Teach him by example, not just words.
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Who is he? Andrew Vachss is a famous lawyer, best-selling author, and leading advocate for child safety and protection. He is on the "Enemies List" of the International Pedophile Liberation Front, an organization for predatory pedophiles organized to promote child molestation and child pornography. He has received death threats from those who call themselves "child advocates" but who use little children for their own pleasure. To learn more visit www.vachss.com.
"There's something nuts about a country that will give you a life sentence for possession of a piece of cocaine and give you probation for sodomizing your child and filming it for sale."
"Victimizers of children are the enemies of any so-called society."
"A kid in an abusive home has far less rights than any POW. There is no Geneva Convention for kids."
"It takes a village to rape a child."
Explanation for why he became a child activist: "I was sick and tired of going to court and watching them get thrown away like they belonged in Hefty bags."
About child abusers: "They are evil, and this is where I part company with social workers. There are people out there who hurt children for pleasure or profit or both."
"We don't protect our young, and we tolerate predators of our own species."
"I don't understand people whose gratification is a BMW. You don't know what joy is until you see a kid who was tortured get adopted by a family."
"Know this: These predators like what they do and will keep on doing it--until we stop them."
"For every child molester who leaps out of a van wearing a ski mask to grab a victim, there are thousands whose weapons are deception and guile."
"More importantly, child
molesters do not want to be "cured." They are proud
of their evil work. They say the only thing wrong with their conduct
is our out-moded society's Jurassic and oppressive mores. They lobby
intensely for the right to molest...which they call lowering the age of
"consent" for children to have sex...and call themselves
"child advocates" in the process."
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE (from Parade Magazine Interview with Vachss, May 2, 1998):
One: Increase the penalties for all enticement crimes aimed at children, including attempts. And such penalties should be enhanced when the perpetrator had prior conviction, used "camouflage" (as in a chat room) or abused a position of trust (such as teacher, counselor or coach).
Two: Change the Labeling of predatory behavior. The criminal justice system characterizes the enticement of children for sexual abuse--indeed, any sexual abuse short of forcible rape--as a "nonviolent" crime (as if a child could somehow be "nonviolently violated"). The fact that the predator does not use physical violence to achieve his or her ends does not mean the crime does not have a horribly violent, traumatic effect. Ask any competent therapist, or any victim. (Note from webmaster: the fact that children are so much smaller than the predators negates the need for violence, yet the result is as devastating as any crime that requires brute force.)
Three: Deter enablers by hitting them in the pocketbook. The law must impose strict liability on organizations, agencies, and institutions that negligently expose children to predators. This should include the public, private, volunteer and religious sectors. That liability must be expanded to include instances when pedophiles are "recycled" after agreeing to treatment and put back into positions of trust. If an organization decides such an individual is "cured" and returns him to a different program or community without disclosing his prior history to the parents, that organization should be held accountable for any harm which results.
Four: Empty the prisons of genuinely non-violent offenders and fill the vacancies with child-sex predators. These predators have, up to now, enjoyed probation and short sentences. Once we have them where they belong, we must keep them there longer.
Five: Adolescents don't need morality lectures, they need to be shown the predators' techniques so they can help protect themselves.
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