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The Back-to-School Question to Ask

PHOTO: The Idaho Children's Trust Fund wants parents to ask teachers if they've taken the "Stewards of Children" training to prevent child sexual abuse. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
PHOTO: The Idaho Children's Trust Fund wants parents to ask teachers if they've taken the "Stewards of Children" training to prevent child sexual abuse. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith
August 6, 2014

BOISE, Idaho - There's a new question to ask as kids head back to school this month. A child sexual abuse prevention group wants parents to quiz teachers, principals, coaches - anyone who has contact with children - about whether they have taken the "Stewards of Children" training.

Roger Sherman, executive director of the Idaho Children's Trust Fund, said the research-based program outlines how to minimize opportunities for kids to be abused.

"When we put seat belts on kids, it's not that we think we're going to have an accident every time that we go out," he said, "and when we're talking about child sexual abuse, we need to do the same thing."

Sherman said the basics for protecting children from sexual abuse are to learn the facts, minimize opportunities, recognize signs, react responsibly - and to talk about it.

"That's one of the really critical things that we can all be doing, is to talk more about child sexual abuse, to ensure that it's not something that's hidden," he said. "Because when it's hidden - when it's a secret - that's the real danger to kids."

Sherman's goal is for thousands more Idahoans to be trained so prevention can become a priority. More than 5,000 Idahoans have been trained so far, he said, and interested people can contact the Idaho Children's Trust Fund about the program.

Prevention tips and details on the training are at D2L.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID