Magen Yeladim Child Safety Training in Cleveland Jewish Day Schools
Jewish day schools in Cleveland are incorporating MYI programming into their curriculum to promote child safety.
The Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day Schools and the Gross Schechter Day School are in their first year of child safety training. Yeshiva Derech HaTorah is in its second year. Hebrew Academy of Cleveland and Fuchs Mizrachi School are in their third year of MYI training.
Praising the growing trend of child safety education in Cleveland schools, Courtney Evenchik, a school psychologist of 11 years, gave a talk on preventing sexual abuse on March 7, at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. She emphasized the following points on child safety, all based on Magen Yeladim Child Safety Institute training:
- 90 percent of sexual abuse occurs by someone a child knows. As a result, the “stranger danger” approach is no longer relevant.
- Molesters condition a child to trust them before abusing them.
- Parents must trust their gut.
- Children must trust that if they speak up, they will be heard and believed.
- Children educated in abuse prevention are less likely to be taken advantage of.
Evenchik went on to emphasize the importance of training children in the household, in addition to school, to prevent sexual abuse.
“Parents shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about [sexual abuse] – it’s harder to abuse or trick a child who knows what you’re up to.” - Courtney Evenchik