How to Teach Kids to be Safe to and from School

Posted by on September 27, 2010

A parent’s worst nightmare: A 17-year-old girl is abducted and raped on the way to school.  What advice should parents give their children?

A brutal sexual assault on a Cleveland girl last week captured media attention.  Our local ABC affiliate, WEWS, asked me to provide safety tips for children to and from school.

My primary point was that as adults, we teach kids to be respectful and to follow the directions given by adults.  But we must teach them that in cases where they are in danger, they should do just the opposite.

A few tips I discussed include:

  • Kids need to travel in groups or have a buddy system.
  • Kids should stay on main streets and pathways.  Avoid isolated backstreets, alleys, empty lots and fields, etc. 
  • They should not walk up close to any approaching cars. Head in the opposite direction if the car pulls up next to them. 
  • Children should never go with a stranger.
  • If they are grabbed, kids should kick, bite, hit, scream and do anything to get loose and to draw attention.
  • Call 911 from any phone for free, even pay phones or inactivated cell phones.

Kids have good gut instincts, in many cases.  They need to follow their sixth sense.  As adults, we tend to teach it out of them instead of teaching them to follow-it.

Ken Trump

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