4 year and 5 olds learn about sexual abuse - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

4 year and 5 olds learn about sexual abuse

December 10, 2003

Dougherty -- Sexual abuse classes are normally taught to kindergartners and older students. But now, pre-kindergartners are being taught about this growing crime in hopes of keeping them safe and breaking the cycle of abuse.

Rainy days in Mrs.Jones's pre-kindergarten class mean no playtime outside. So the four and five year olds in her class will have to settle for storytime.Wednesday students heard a very different type of story. " But then he did something he had never done before. He put his hand between her legs and touched her private body part," reads Stacey Klias a Dougherty County Counselor. Klias uses the story to teach  small kids about sexual abuse.

"This year the pre k program asked if we would like to come by and teach this program because this is a preventative measure," say Klias. The  classes are designed to not only to prevent sexual abuse outside the classroom but inside it as well. "They are at the age where they are trying to explore and try to figure it out. That natural curiosity is always going to be there,"she says. 

Parents have shown a strong approval for the program. More then 98% of them gave permission for their child to participate in the program. Grandparents like Chance Angeler say it's clear to him why there is such support. "When we were coming up people friend with you was a different friendly but now they will tell you anything," he says.< /STRONG>

 But the big question is can students so young children truly understand sexual abuse and message they are being taught. Program instructors belive young children can understand . " I believe they can to an extent because they are internalizing that information. They were showing you where their private body parts are." says Klais. Wednesday was the last day of the program for preschoolers. A total of 200 students participated this school year.

posted at 4:50PM by scott.hunter@walb.com

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