CategoryChild Safety

How to Increase Safety in Schools

lockers-94959_1280Are we safe? Every day when I turn on the news there is without fail stories about shooting, rape, and murder. Although most of us would not like to admit it, our world does not seem to be getting any safer. As in any situation, most psychologists would say that the first step to resolving a problem is coming to the realization that there is an issue. We must first come to terms with the reality that our lives and the lives of our children could potentially be in danger. According to the research by Everytown.org, school shootings continue to increase as time goes on. In the graph displayed below, I mapped out a chart showing the gradual and then sudden increase in school shootings from 2000 to 2014.

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Based on the chart above, from 2012 to 2014, school shootings began to dramatically increase with more than 10 school shootings a year. In addition, the amount of shootings in 2014, one-year period, was almost equal to the amount of school shootings in a 10-year period. Indeed, the need for increased security is clearly evident in the facts. There are many reasons as to why school shootings have increased. Some might say it is because we need stricter gun laws due to the fact that people do not stress safety in the homes of those who own guns. Others believe that some children with mental disabilities are going undiagnosed by schools and families causing life-threatening results to their peers, as well as to themselves. Lastly, another suggestion is the thought that we were once a country founded on Christian principles and now with God taken out of schools, as a result, violence in schools has increased. Nevertheless, the fact is that schools today face sometimes life-threatening situations.

Once we realize that schools are not absent from violence, the second step would be to take action. One way to help increase safety in schools is finding a school security program. Parentglue is a program that helps parents and school administrators increase communication, as well as safety. As part of the Parentglue program, they are launching their newest product called SonarCloud. The purpose of SonarCloud is for principals to have easy access to the P.A. system from anywhere inside and outside the school building. This will allow principals the ability to quickly announce an emergency lock down from their smart-phone. SonarCloud is highly secured with code identification as well as backup for when a wireless system is temporarily down. The device will also include a panic button that will be sent out to 911 if the situation is potentially life threatening. SonarCloud is expected for released in June of 2015. If you are interested in having SonarCloud in your school please contact Parentglue at info@parentglue.com or call them at 1-888-874-6551.

 

Jack Martin, President of The Martin Group and retired Chief of School Police once stated… Three reasons why school security fails: “It can’t happen here.” “We can’t afford it.” “We don’t have the time to do all that.”  

 

Do you want to be a change agent? Do you not want to be another school statistic? Learn more about how you can make a difference in your school at www.parentglue.com.

 

How to Know If a Child Has Been Sexually Abused

portrayal-89189_1280This month is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. I know many adults who have been sexually abused when they were children; the consequences are devastating. These precious adults became heavily involved with drugs, alcohol, self-injury, extreme dieting, and sexual activity, as well as suffering from depression, all from a young age. Many of them are in their thirties still struggling to adjust and live a normal life. If you know someone especially a child who may be a victim of sexual abuse, please seek help. The earlier the intervention, the brighter the future is for the child. To better understand if a child you know is being sexually abused we need to know what sexual abuse is. Child sexual abuse includes two types of activity, touching and non-touching.

 

Touching sexual offenses include:

  • Touching a child’s genitals or private parts for sexual pleasure
  • Making a child touch an adult’s sexual organs; and penetrating a child’s vagina or anus.

Non-touching sexual offenses include:

  • Exposing children to pornographic material
  • Deliberately exposing a child to the act of sexual intercourse; and masturbating in front of a child.
  • Photographing a child in sexual poses
  • Encouraging a child to watch and hear sexual acts
  • Inappropriately watching a child undress or use the bathroom

 

Many young victims will show signs of sexual abuse through drastic changes in their behavior. At different stages of development, children act out different forms of behavior by themselves and/or with other children. Parents Protect gives a list of behaviors at each stage of development.

 

Pre-school children (0-5) years commonly:

  • Use childish ‘sexual’ language to talk about body parts
  • Ask how babies are made and where they come from
  • Touch or rub their own genitals
  • Show and look at private parts

School-age children (6-12 years) commonly:

  • Ask questions about menstruation, pregnancy and other sexual behavior
  • Experiment with other children, often during games, kissing, touching, showing and role-playing ex. moms and dads or doctors and nurses

Adolescents:

  • Ask questions about relationships and sexual behavior
  • Use sexual language and talk between themselves about sexual acts
  • Experiment sexually with adolescents of similar age
  • About one-third of adolescents have sexual intercourse before the age of 16.

 

If you know a child who might be sexually abused, contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Help is free, confidential, and available 24/7 or contact your local emergency services at 9-1-1.

You might be that child’s only voice. Save a child now!

 

Resources:

American Humane Association: http://www.americanhumane.org/children/stop-child-abuse/fact-sheets/child-sexual-abuse.html

The U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.nsopw.gov/en/Education/FactsStatistics

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/features/sexualviolence/

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