Learning to Recognise, Refuse and Report with Second Step

Over the last six to seven weeks, students in Casa and Lower Elementary have been learning to discern between safe and unsafe situations, and to recognise, refuse and report unsafe situations during weekly Second Step sessions.

Throughout the program, the children have been practising the very important skill of assertiveness and have learnt how to be assertive to adults and their peers, which they discovered is not always easy. For the more outspoken, extroverted students this skill came a little more naturally, but for the introverted, shy students it was a bit more challenging. However, through role-play practice every child was given a chance to practise saying ‘no,’ and there were continual opportunities to hone this important skill. It was gratifying to see this skill develop over the course of the program, to be built upon as each child continues with Second Step classes each year.  

The program also emphasises the importance of working together as a community to protect children and keep them safe from harm or abuse. It is sometimes hard as a parent to talk about the topic of abuse with young children as we may believe that children should not be exposed to this at a young age, particularly as we live on a ‘safe’ island. However, we are not just preparing the children for what may be happening in their lives at the moment but also preparing them and equipping them with strategies and skills to help them in the future. Recent research conducted by Second Step showed the Child Protection Unit’s positive impact on parents’ knowledge, motivation, and self-reported communication with their children about personal safety and childhood sexual abuse (CSA) prevention. 

By creating a child protection strategy and educating children and adults throughout the school, we all can be prepared to recognize, respond to, and report.

Comments are closed.