BE SEEN and BE HEARD
This January and February NPD 117 provided abuse education through a program called Be Seen and Be Heard. This program was presented to our students by Victor Pacini. Victor delicately raises awareness about abuse and gives children a voice to speak up. The overall goal of this Erin's Law program is to create a safe and engaging enviroment where children learn about the dangers of abuse and the difference between safe and unsafe touching. Victor discussed his personal story of a boy who experiences abuse and how he kept it a secret. Then there was a discussion of how unsafe secrets are not healthy to keep. Victor goes on to explain to the students to tell a "Hero" (an adult they trust) if someone touches them in a way that makes them uncomfortable and to keep the unsafe secret. Victor is able to present this sensitive material in an appropritaely suited way for our pre-kindergaten through junior high students in an engaging and thoughtful manner.
Dorn, Sorrick and Conrady held assemblies in January and February in which Victor engaged the crowd early with some song –and- dance moves designed to get the students’ attention, soon turned serious while showing students how the lessons he learned can inform their lives. Conrady students were also taught how to behave appropriately online and while texting. Oak Ridge and Glen Oaks students learned this important message through an informational video assembly entitled, “Be Seen and Heard”.
What is Erin’s Law?
Governor Pat Quinn signed into law House Bill 6193, or Erin’s Law, on January 24, 2013. This law mandates that Illinois public schools extend their current mandated educational programs regarding personal safety, abuse education and prevention curriculum to students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. The goal of the law is to teach children to avoid situations that may lead to abuse and to report any instances of abuse they many have endured.
Providing abuse education in schools is not a new initiative. Mandates under the Health Education Act and Internet Safety Education Curriculum require instruction beginning in sixth grade. Erin’s Law simply extends this education into grades pre-kindergarten through twelve.