Teen Lures TV Newscast and Teen Lures Prevention School Program
Personal Safety Curriculum for Grades 7-12
In an effort to make personal safety education more relevant and appealing to older students, the Teen Lures TV Newscast and corresponding School Program Classroom Lesson Plans were created to augment the Think First & Stay Safe School Program for Grades 7-12.
Many tweens and teens wanted a program they could call their own. Not only were the Teen Lures Prevention website (teenluresprevention.com), TV Newscast and School Program created specifically with these students in mind, but the curricula were formulated to deeply involve teens in the learning process via peer teaching.
Safety Skills Prevent Victimization
Teenagers are the primary target of sexual crimes. They account for 51% of all reported sexual abuse, and teens aged 16-19 are three and a half times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault. All too often, it's a peer who takes advantage. With Teen Lures Prevention, students are trained and motivated to be part of the solution.
Schools provide a safe environment that allows teens to openly discuss the issue of sexual abuse and to reach every student with specific prevention strategies. Schools also provide the ideal opportunity for teens to disclose sexual abuse (only 31% of teen sexual abuse incidents are reported), since school counselors and other mandated reporters are readily available.
Peer-to-Peer Abuse/Juvenile Perpetrators
Teen Lures Prevention addresses peer-to-peer abuse and also provides an opportunity for youngsters who are having thoughts of abusing others to come forward and get help.
Nearly 1/3 of sexual offenders are aged 12-19; teens themselves.
Therefore, it's important to be able to recognize risk factors involved.
Who is at risk for being a juvenile sexual offender?
Older teens who lack confidence in their ability to establish and maintain a relationship with an equal may turn to someone younger as a way to boost their self-esteem.
Older boys with stereotypical views of masculinity may see the "conquest" of a young girl as an affirmation of their masculinity.
Teens who have control issues may find it easier to control someone who is younger.
Teens who have been unsuccessful in relationships with their peers may prey on younger teens.
Victims of childhood sexual abuse may abuse younger teens.
Safety Education Helps Keep Teens Safe
Teenagers are well aware that sexual crimes happen to teens. They see it on the news, online, on TV and in movies, and discuss it with their friends. By talking openly about these crimes in peer-to-peer formats, this generation of teens can be the first in history to do away with the secrecy surrounding sexual and other predatory crimes and help stop the cycle of abuse that has persisted for generations.
Roadblock to Education
Educators typically witness first-hand the ensuing aftermath of sexual abuse, which can include learning challenges, behavioral problems, low self-esteem, depression, suicide, substance abuse, eating disorders, and teen pregnancy. Educators who proactively support personal safety education help ensure their students come to school prepared to learn and free of the challenges that are often associated with the aftermath of exploitation.
The Internet and Cell Phones are a Teen's Life!
America's teens have grown up online, and the majority of them regularly and safely interact online with people they don't know. Many of today's teenagers do know how to block, ignore, delete, or handle unwanted online or electronic solicitations. They tend to use closed social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Xanga) as opposed to open social networks like Twitter, because closed networks are inherently safer.
Students who participate in Teen Lures Prevention programming become especially well versed in Internet/Electronic safety, as most lures can also be used online or electronically. Students are asked to sign an Online-Electronic Safety Pact as a reminder to practice basic Internet safety and manners. Teens promise not to abuse online or electronic privileges by sending self-exploitive, cruel, threatening or disrespectful e-mails, IMs and text messages, nor posting them. In today's world, proper netiquette is imperative.
Expect Respect: Fostering Self-Esteem
Teenagers with self-confidence are less likely to be victimized or engage in at-risk behavior. Therefore, it is of vital importance to build self-esteem at every opportunity. By nurturing their sense of self-worth, we can instill in students an expectation to be treated with, and to treat others with, respect and dignity. Assuring teens of their right to control what happens to their own bodies gives them the confidence to assert themselves with adults or peers who attempt to abuse them.
Family Involvement Is Essential
Recent polls prove that teens are listening to and respecting the advice of parents and caregivers. Parents and caregivers play an essential role in protecting their teens from sexual abuse. Teen Lures Prevention provides several options for schools to ensure parental involvement.
Parents will want to be familiar with the programming, so that when their teens start talking about the Teen Lures TV Newscast and sexual crime prevention, parents will feel comfortable discussing these issues with their teens. Teenagers should be praised for raising awareness and spreading the word of prevention.
Another Peer Teaching Opportunity: Teens Teaching Elementary Students
In schools across the country, middle and high school students are catching the teaching bug! Child Lures Prevention's Think First & Stay Safe School Program has become a popular project for students interested in making a difference.
With adult training and supervision, motivated students view the Think First & Stay Safe School Program's Training for Prevention video, study the Presenter's Instruction Guide, and practice delivering classroom presentations. Some students videotape their practice sessions to review and critique. Once middle/high school students are adequately trained, they present the program to elementary students. Elementary student response to peer teaching has been consistently and overwhelmingly positive.
A group of eighth and ninth grade students at just one school in Lubbock, Texas are credited with saving five children from criminal abduction, and untold others from sexual abuse through their peer teaching project!
Federal Guidelines for Student Personal Safety Programs
Jennifer Mitchell, Co-President of Teen Lures Prevention, was one of eight national child safety experts who served on the Education Standards Task Force at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The task force, along with NCMEC staff liaisons and supporting agencies, developed the Guidelines for Programs to Reduce Child Victimization: A Resource for Communities When Choosing a Program to Teach Personal Safety to Children.
The Teen Lures TV Newscast and corresponding Teen Lures Prevention School Program align with recommendations in NCMEC's guidelines.