According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), in compliance with recent Texas legislation, district and charter schools within the state are required to provide all employees with prevention and recognition training concerning child sexual abuse and other forms of child maltreatment.
Statistics for child sexual abuse are staggering. In the United States alone, 400,000 children born this year will be sexually abused before the age of 18. Studies show that school personnel identify 52 percent of child abuse cases classified as causing harm to the child – more than any other profession or organization.
Through grant funding, Darkness to Light’s award-winning Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention program is offered to all Texas faculty and employees. The TEA has listed Stewards of Children as an approved solution, and the program is eligible for continuing professional education (CPE) credits.
Many Texas school employees have already taken Stewards of Children. On August 21, 2013, the city of Houston trained 600 public school teachers – the largest single-day training of its kind. Other districts have also taken a lead in child sexual abuse prevention. According to Dr. Debra Jordan, a Region 5 junior high principal, “Stewards of Children provides educators with proactive tools that enable them to recognize the warning signs and to implement preventative best practices.”
Darkness to Light President and CEO Jolie Logan talks about the organization’s role in this trailblazing effort to protect children: “School employees interact with thousands of children throughout their careers, making them ideally situated to significantly reduce the prevalence of child sexual abuse. We applaud the TEA and the state of Texas for taking a leadership role by not only making abuse prevention and response training a requirement, but a priority. We are proud to be part of this initiative.”