By Nancy James, Executive Director, Montessori Academy of Colorado
When you walk into our school, you’ll see a sign, “Welcome, Montessori is about celebrating children and supporting a child’s independence—and we are a body-safe school. We added the last part because we want parents to know right away that we take child sexual abuse prevention very seriously. But I still want every prospective parent who walks into my office to ask me these five questions:
|Montessori Academy of Colorado|
- What policies do you have in place to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse?
- What are your specific policies for adults spending alone time with children; for the appropriate and inappropriate touch of children; and for diapering, toileting, and changing clothes?
- How do you monitor your child sexual abuse prevention practices?
- What questions do you ask prospective hires to screen for sexual offenders?
- What kind of training do staff, volunteers, parents, and children receive on preventing child sexual abuse?
When every daycare facility and school has policies in place that are regularly monitored, then our communities will be stronger and safer for kids. And how can we make this happen? You – parents. The more parents who invite school administrators, teachers and staff onto their family’s prevention team, the more pressure there is on youth-serving organizations to implement policies and train staff in prevention child sexual abuse.
If you haven’t already seen it, check out this Parenting Safe Children Screening Video which features a parent asking me questions about our policies.
I’m about to conduct some interviews and was specifically interested in questions that I should ask prospective hires to screen for sexual offenders? Obviously, I can’t say, “do you inappropriately touch children?” I guess I’m a bit shy and concerned that I will embarrass myself and others in my organization by asking a pointed question.
Thank you in advance for your response and help. I appreciate what you do.