Gentle frankness appeared to grab children’s attention during a recent Children’s Safety class by the Sandy Springs Police.
Through activities and straight talk, officers Brian Morgan, Tim Burell and volunteer Michael Raskin encouraged children to stand-up to bullies and report any bullying they see or experience to an adult. They also talked about cyber-bullying and child abduction.
The officers told Patch frankness is necessary considering the information children already get through the internet. "Otherwise, they look at it as being talked down to," Raskin said.
The free monthly class for children ages 8-12 was held at the Hitson Memorial Activities Center at Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, through Crime Prevention Officer Larry Jacobs.
See photos where police show children how to flee from strangers who might try to abduct them.
On standing up to bullies, Burrell told kids to simply say, “Stop it.”
He continued, “I know you think, ‘They will hit me.’ No they won’t. Say, ‘Don’t touch me. Quit bullying people…’ “
Burell explained to the children and their parents that bullying has led some victims to suicide, so it’s important to stop bullying when they see it.
“Kids who are bullied feel like they are different, powerless, unpopular and alone,” he added.
In an excercise with the kids, Burell, Morgan and Raskin went into how to identify strangers who can help them, such as a public safety person, a teacher or bus driver vs. someone who may harm them. They also showed how a family password, can help a child know if a stranger who approaches them is friend or foe.
“If you think someone is trying to hurt you, then you need to get away from them,” Burell said.
To sign-up for the class contact Officer Larry Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.