Supplies Everyone Needs: Our Back-to-School Toolkit

Categories: Education, General News, Guides, Other, School Safety

Believe it or not, it is back to school time – time for academics, after school activities and homework. 

Back to school means our children find themselves faced with a whole new set of adults (teachers, aides, school staff, and coaches) in which we ask them to trust. But there are many things that we can all do to make sure that children feel safe at school. Whether you are a parent, caring adult, you work with children or are an educator yourself, our Back-to-School Toolkit is just what you need. 

Our Back-to-School Toolkit   

As a parent, caregiver, educator or simply a concerned adult in the community, safety at school is top of mind. In addition to implementing safety protocols around fires and natural disasters or lockdown and other dangerous situations, our schools should have well defined procedures in place when it comes to protecting our children from child sexual abuse. These procedures should not only address adult and child interactions but should also address peer to peer interactions.  

As many as 40% of children who are sexually abused are abused by older, or more powerful children. 

Are you a parent, caregiver or concerned adult in the community?  

Our School Safety Checklist is a comprehensive list of guidelines that if fully implemented, would set a school apart from all others when it comes to keeping kids safe from child sexual abuse. Share this list with the school site leadership team, your child’s teacher and with the school’s parent/teacher organization. Play an active role where you can in helping draft policies, provide resources, or secure training for staff. 

A code of conduct is a document that describes how staff, volunteers, and older youth will interact and conduct themselves with children. A good code of conduct is balanced. It allows for interactions that are warm, encouraging, and appropriate; it clearly prohibits interactions that are dangerous, inappropriate, and harmful. It should contain descriptions that reflect values and the activities within the school. Our Basics of a Code of Conduct resource is a great place to start. Ask your child’s school leaders if they have something similar in place and if they do, ask how they use it and how they let people know about it. If they do not have one in place, ask if you can help create one! 

Stewards of Children®, our flagship program, teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. If you have not yet taken the training, find a training here. Then, share this one sheet on Stewards of Children® with your child’s school. Offer to help coordinate the training and even help find funding if it is needed to make sure that all adults in the building are trained. 

Are you an educator or work in a school setting? 

As mandatory reporters, you know that you are crucial to protecting kids but there are a few other steps you can take to protect children. 

Our School Safety Checklist is a comprehensive list of guidelines that if fully implemented, would set your school apart from all others when it comes to keeping kids safe from child sexual abuse. Share this list with your school site leadership team or Board of Education. Play an active role where you can in helping draft policies, provide resources, or secure training for staff. 

A code of conduct is a document that describes how staff, volunteers, and older youth will interact and conduct themselves with children. A good code of conduct is balanced. It allows for interactions that are warm, encouraging, and appropriate; it clearly prohibits interactions that are dangerous, inappropriate, and harmful. It should contain descriptions that reflect values and the activities within the school. Our Basics of a Code of Conduct resource is a great place to start. If your school does have one, ask if it can be revisited to make sure it is up to date and that it is posted for all to see. If you do not have one in place, ask if you can help get it started! 

Stewards of Children®, our flagship program, teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. If you have not yet taken the training, find a training here. Then, share this one sheet on Stewards of Children® with your school leadership. Offer to help coordinate the training. Have several members of your school already taken Stewards of Children®? Then look at taking one of our Additional Trainings that make up Stewards Plus or look into our newly launched Beyond Stewards of Children ™.

Educators are on the front lines, but often aren’t trained to recognize abuse. 
  • School personnel identify 52% of all identified child abuse cases classified as causing harm to the child, more than any other profession, including child protective services and the police.
  • Two-thirds of teachers do not receive specific training in preventing, recognizing, or responding to child sexual abuse in either their college coursework or as part of their professional development.
  • 24% of school personnel have never received any oral or written guidelines on the mandated reporting requirements of their state. 
It’s time to give educators the tools they need! 

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