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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

VIRTUS Training and Child Abuse Scandals

I was very impressed, surprised, and informed, from the VIRTUS training, but would like to start with the fact that I could not have been more impressed with Sister Harriet.  For a woman that age to be that with it and still command the attention from a room of college students shows what a great principle she must have been during her time at St. Mary's.  I loved how she incorporated her own stories to the already chilling ones portrayed on the video.  The fact that she had stories to back up everything was very telling on how real and important the issue of abuse is in the school system.

As far as the training itself, it really opened my eyes to several topics, some I knew basic information and some that was completely new to me.  As far as spotting child molesters it was great to see what signs I should be looking for and what predators tendencies do.  It was also great that Sister Harriet gave us advice on what to do in these situation when we have suspicion of abuse.  Instead of calling police it would be more beneficial to you to just call the child abuse hot line where you can keep your identity anonymous in case you are wrong.

Another great thing I learned from the training are things to avoid while teaching that could get me in trouble when it is undeserved.  Never going somewhere alone with a child is something obvious that never crossed my mind when thinking of teaching PE.  Not picking up students or tapping them on the head are two more pieces of strong advice that we were given and this is simply to avoid injury that may result in a lawsuit that is ever so popular in today's world.

Besides getting certified in order to work with the children of St Mary's, it is important to discuss the topic of child abuse.  With scandals coming out in large universities such as Penn State University and Syracuse University, it is a growing problem since those abused often do not tell anyone until later in life.  As PE teachers and educators in general we have a duty to protect all children from an earth shattering and life altering situation that could be easily avoided with a keen eye.  It is safe to say that the world is not perfect, and there are people out there that will attempt to hurt kids.  If we can stop them before it happens it may save many more lives than we realize.  On behalf of the class I want to thank Sister Harriet for her time and a great presentation.  

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