Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Stay Alert

Recently a friend of mine told us that they had checked their young teen daughters’ phone for messages and texts and found out that one daughter had been communicating with two men who they believe are known pedophiles. What a shock this was for the parents! They never thought this would happen to them but luckily, they caught it in time and the girl is safe.

It is important that parents and teachers monitor what students are doing when connecting with others. In our house, we have always had the policy that if you had to hide something, you shouldn’t be doing it. My parents always impressed on me that they trusted me, but it was other people that they didn’t trust. It was this belief that kept me safe when I was growing up.

With all the craziness going on in the world, it is important that we are diligent and that we protect our vulnerable children.

The Missing and Exploited Children site has a great Resource page for parents and teachers.

 “The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® provides safety and prevention resources for families and professionals focusing on child abduction, child sexual exploitation, and internet safety.”

I’m sorry if teens think this is an invasion of privacy but I think we need to move past the idea that we might hurt their feelings. My parents regularly searched my room, monitored my actions, and always knew where I was when I wasn’t at home. They spoke to the parents of kids I was going to hang out with. At times, they called to check that I was at the place I said I would be. If anyone thought they were overprotective parents, they didn’t care because they were doing what they thought was in my best interest.

As a teacher, I make sure that my students aren’t making unhealthy or dangerous connections during my class. We talk about the dangers of connecting with strangers and how we don’t know if they are really who they say they are. We talk about the possibilities and what safety measures are important to take. I don’t believe this discussion is something that happens one time but should be repeated at least every 3 to 4 months so students are reminded of the dangers. It is too easy to be influenced and forget about the safety measures.  

How do you monitor your students? Please share.

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

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