NEWSLETTER: Child Abuse Prevention

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checkmark IN THIS ISSUE:

  • COURSE INSIDER: Free Security Software
  • Sexual Abuse in Education
  • In the News
  • Take the Challenge

COURSE INSIDER: FREE Computer Security SoftwareThe COURSE INSIDER is a new feature in the Professional Learning Board newsletter. Periodically, we’ll give you a look inside a course providing content that you can put into use. This newsletter’s COURSE INSIDER content comes to you from our new Technology for Education Leaders online class.We came across this free (for personal use) software and love it! Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) continuously scans your computer and lets you know when a program installed has an update available.

Why is this important? Computer programs become vulnerable to attacks from cyber bad guys who look for ways to exploit programs. Software makers fix these bugs. It is important for computer users to keep their software up to date. And Secunia PSI makes it simple because Secunia monitors your computer for you, tells you when to update and even gives you a button to click so you do not have to go searching the Internet to find the right software update.

Note, this software is not intended to replace anti-virus, malware, firewall or any other software you have or should have installed on your computer. It is an “in addition to” program that adds one more type of protection.

Go to http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal to learn more and get the software.


Sexual Abuse in EducationI’ve been racking my brain to come up with a better title for this subject and welcome suggestions. With the onslaught of news about sexual assault it is easy to pretend that this topic is not an issue in our schools. However, a 2004 U.S. Department of Education study, http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf, found that 1 in 10 students are sexually abused by an adult in their school sometime during their K-12 education. Consider the number of students in your own classroom. On average you will have at least one student at any given time that is, has been or will be sexually abused in school.

This is a horrible topic and certainly no one wants to talk about it. I challenge that we as professional educators need to take the lead in both the discussions and solutions to fix the problem.

Why?

  1. Virtually all of us as educators are mandatory reporters of child abuse. This means we must protect children regardless of whether they are abused or exploited outside or within the school walls.
  2. Children cannot learn if they are being abused.
  3. Classroom teachers are on the front line interacting with children more than anyone else in our schools which puts us in the best place to notice possible signs of child abuse AND to notice indications of inappropriate adult behavior.

We are in a unique position as educators to both create safe learning environments for our students and to report abuse when it happens.

If not us, who?

If not now, when?


In the News A few years after starting Professional Learning Board, Inc. and leaving the classroom, I got a telephone call from a Catholic school administrator asking me if I thought our continuing education and professional development courses would be appropriate and available for their teacher audiences and this became the first of several opportunities to help Catholic dioceses across the country with their initiative to protect and keep children safe.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and this gives us a unique opportunity to celebrate the incredible efforts of hard working people in schools, faith communities and non-profits.

Good work can be found among the organizations that have been in the spotlight for child abuse: USA Swimming, Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church have made strong, positive strides forward to protect children today and in the future.

These new practices include:

  • Training all clergy, staff, teachers and volunteers to recognize signs of abuse as well as signs that might indicate concern or inappropriate behaviors.
  • Conducting background checks on all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.


Take the Challenge

Are you in a school or district that wants to step up their efforts in protecting children from abuse? Professional Learning Board will set up and run our  online training web site and provide courses in recognizing and reporting child abuse for all school staff, professionals, volunteers, coaches and parents at NO CHARGE for one selected school or district.

What’s the catch? It’s simple really. The school or district must commit to the following minimum best practices:

  • Background checks for ALL staff, professionals, coaches and volunteers working with or around children,
  • Have or implement a code of conduct for all people working with children and
  • Mandate annual training for all of the above audiences.

If you know of the right school or district that is interested and up to this challenge, please let me know who to contact.

Thank you for all you do to teach and keep children safe.

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Comments

4 Responses to “NEWSLETTER: Child Abuse Prevention”
  1. Sexual assault is actually my area of professional expertise. You are so right, the only way to positively impact the dynamic and to protect children is to report suspected abuse. WE don’t need to prove, just have sufficient suspicion as measured against clusters of behaviour.

  2. Julie says:

    I will say, I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and totally agree that education in schools is a must. I didn’t do well at school because of the abuse and mucked up in class that came across to the teachers as a misbehaving child…they did not see it as my crys for help.

    Here in Australia we just had our White Balloon day, to make people aware of the issues surrounding child sexual abuse. http://www.whiteballoonday.com.au/index.ews

  3. PLB says:

    Thank you Julie for sharing your experiences here. It can be so helpful for many when other people speak up.

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  1. […] online professional development to other teachers and school professionals, has concentrated her latest Newsletter on Child Abuse Prevention. A topic close to my own heart, I hope you will all read Ellen’s Newsletter and take her […]


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