On Thursday, October 22, early childhood educators from the Northern Illinois District came together for discussion on the topic of Erin's Law.
In the state of Illinois, Erin's Law requires age-appropriate sexual abuse curriculum (preschool through twelfth grade) to be taught in public schools. The concept of "safe-touch on safe touch" informs children how to speak up and tell if you are being sexually abused. The following websites provide detailed information on Erin's law, including some wonderful short videos to share with your staff.
Example Letter to Parents:
Example Lesson Plans for Elementary, Middle School and High School
So what does this mean for our Lutheran DCFS licensed centers or private schools? This is not a law mandated by Illinois or DCFS for licensed daycare centers or private institutions. However, this is an important topic and several of our Lutheran schools are adopting curriculum to support and discuss the topic of sexual abused in our classroom. During our discussion, we also talked about abuse in general. We know we are mandated reporters, but is our training current enough to know the signs and steps to take as a mandated reporter? It's important that administrators are reviewing this information yearly with staff. The following website can be a useful resource for those working with school children: https://mr.dcfstraining.org/UserAuth/Login!loginPage.action#
While the focus of our meeting was on Erin's Law, it was only natural for us to also engage in conversation about keeping our schools safe. We have had meetings on this topic as well, but continue to reflect on employee/volunteer and facility safety.
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