I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately.
Why are educators so hesitant to teach Body Safety Education to the children in their care?
Ninety-nine per cent of educators are wonderful individuals who really care about children. I just think many are terrified of this whole topic.
Therefore, I personally have come to these conclusions:
(Note: I am very happy for your opinions.)
1. The principal is not enforcing what is actually in the curriculum (Body Safety Education is in every curriculum in Australia; please inbox me if you wish to see my summary document).
a) Because he or she thinks the teachers are already too busy to cover this topic along with everything else they have to do (the crowded curriculum).
b) The parents won’t like it.
2. Classroom teachers are aware of some ‘disturbing behaviours’ in their grade but would hate to be wrong about a child, and are therefore very cautious to jump to any conclusions.
3. They are aware of some disturbing behaviours in the grade but without a disclosure they feel powerless to act; even though they may have powerful suspicions.
4. If they teach Body Safety, there may be a disclosure and educators are fearful of what to actually do, their ongoing responsibilities and their role following mandatory reporting.
5. Educators are not trained in how to teach Body Safety, and therefore lack the knowledge and confidence to actually teach this topic to the children in their care.
So, how can we change all that! My answers to my own points!
1. Firstly, principals do need to enforce what is in the curriculum.
a) Teachers need to FIND the time to teach Body Safety as there is nothing more important than the safety of our children. I am sure road and water safety are taught; therefore, Body Safety is equally as important, if not more important.
b) Wrong! I think more and more parents DO want their kids educated in Body Safety. With so many cases in the media of the sexual abuse of children, parents and guardians are increasingly becoming more open to teaching their kids this empowering knowledge.
2. I can understand this; no-one wants to jump to wrong conclusions. But with ongoing Body Safety Education, an abused child may well disclose and understand what is happening to them is wrong.
3. Same answer as point 2.
4. When instructed in how to teach Body Safety, teachers will learn all about their responsibilities and what to do after a disclosure.
5. When instructed in how to teach Body Safety, teachers will learn exactly what they need to teach; therefore they will feel confident to impart this knowledge to the kids in their care.
Having educators teach Body Safety to the children in their care is a win-win situation. I can’t see any downside! Can you?
Jayneen Sanders author of the children’s book on safe and unsafe touch ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ www.somesecrets.info