Chabad's Brooklyn Schools Launch Unprecedented Educational Effort To Combat Child Abuse
Chabad is using a national program specifically set up for haredi and Modern Orthodox communities to educate about child sexual abuse. But the announcement of Chabad's program doesn't mention child sexual abuse at all – it only mentions physical abuse, apparently because like other haredim, Chabad won't use the word "sexual."
Letter to the Crown Heights community:
All of us have heard too many sad stories about kids and abuse. We wring our hands in despair and wish the difficult and awkward story would go away. How can we stop this awful pain? What preventative steps can we take to protect our children?
Now we are taking a positive step. We will empower the children and educate them so that they know the boundaries of personal safety and what to do in an unsafe situation. This fall, Crown Heights mosdos will invest in our children's fundamental human right to a safe and secure childhood. Safety Kid® is coming to town.
The Safety Kid® Child Safety program was created and developed by the Aleinu Family Resource Center, a program of the Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles. Designed specifically for the frum community, Safety Kid™ teaches kids from a positive and tznius perspective how to protect themselves from all types of danger they may encounter.
The program was initiated by [Rabbi Nochum Kaplan of] the Merkos Chinuch Office, which formed a parent committee who has worked hard to bring this long overdue program to all our Lubavitch pre-schools and elementary schools in Crown Heights.
During the week of October 28, 2012, Aleinu representatives will hold workshops and training sessions for Crown Heights School staff, administrators, teachers, and all community parents. Volunteer educators will be trained by Aleinu to go into the classrooms once a year and to teach the students using upbeat, fun and interactive materials, how to protect themselves from physical abuse.
The program also covers other areas of safety like "stranger danger", fire safety, school bullying, what to do when lost or separated from parents, as well as other vital day to day safety practices.
Mandatory evening parent workshops will also be held to increase awareness and prevention. Parent participation is vital. Each child will receive a Safety Kid® kit to take home and review with their parents.
Together with the children, the safety practices they learn at school will be reinforced at home. "Tell Mommy what the Safety Morah taught you today, show me your "safety tree" and we will fill it in together". "Mommy is so happy that you checked first before you answered the front door, etc."
Our kids must know from a very young age what is an "OK" or not "OK" touch. They must know that they can and must always come to mommy and tell her that someone did something to them that made them uncomfortable or scared.
This New Year, we will make a hachlata together and show our children that their safety is our utmost priority. More information and scheduling details will IY"H be forthcoming. The significant fee for the Safety Kid® program is being shared by our schools and the Chinuch Office.
With much thanks,
Crown Heights Parent Safety Alliance
When you check the website of the Safety Kid program Chabad is using, you'll immediately note that is openly talks about child sexual abuse – which is the main reason Safety Kid exists:
Why is Aleinu SAFETY KID training important?
Research shows that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys in the United States are sexually abused before age 12. Only 1 in 10 victimized children report sexual abuse of any kind to someone who can do something about it. We need to empower our children with the skills to keep themselves safe and supported by educated parents and teachers.
You can't fix a problem like this until you fully admit it exists and allow it to have a name, just as you can't do an effect good touch, bad touch program without showing children what that means.
Chabad gets an "A" for effort here, but a "C-" for its willingness to tell the truth about what the problem actually is.
You're fighting child rape and molestation. Say that out loud. I guarantee you, doing so won't hurt anyone – except the pedophiles who are hurting your kids.