Sunday, December 26, 2010

Safety First!

Around the time of school pictures (mid October?), we also had a program come to our school called Ident-a-Kid. Through this program, parents can pay to have cards created with all of their student's current information printed on a card with their current picture. These cards should be kept on hand. Then, in case the child goes missing, the parent has all of the information and a recent picture to give to the police. Given the socioeconomic class that I work with, only 2 of my kids ordered the actual cards. Well, about a month after I gave out the cards, waiting in my mailbox were 20 cards to give the rest of my kids. These were from the same company, but a little different. Since parents didn't order the cards, they did not fill out all the kid's information. So, these cards just contained a recent picture and then labeled blanks (Name: _____, DOB: ____, Weight: ____, etc.) on the back for parents to fill in all of the info. I handed them out at the end of the day and asked the kids to put them in their backpacks and take them home. As is often the case, the majority of my class followed my directions perfectly, but there were a few rebels who decided to pull out the card and examine it and fill in the info. Clearly, being 9-years-old, they do not know all of their statistics. This led to one of my girls walking up to me (as I'm in the middle of dismissal, so only halfway paying attention), card in hand, and asked, "How tall am I?" I looked at her in frustration since she obviously had no intent to follow directions, and said, "I have no idea." She looked at me, looked at the card, looked back up at me and then took her card and on the line for Height wrote "Short." Hahaha. How could I stay frustrated at that? And how is that going to help the cops find her?!

It was exciting to see my kids so excited about the cards and being able to explain to them safety and such. About a week later, we watched their Health and Safety/Family Life videos... Stranger Danger and I Was Just Kidding: All About Harrassment. It's amazing to me that with ALL of the technology and production in our society today, that we still have to show low-budget videos made in the 1980s. I don't understand why Officer Steve in Stranger Danger has a full mullet, creepy mustache, and wears high water, acid wash jeans up past his waist. I'm pretty sure those are the people we tell our kids to RUN from, not listen to for advice! The scenarios in the story are ones that my kids COULD face today (a stranger offering them candy if they get in the car, a woman asking for help carrying her groceries to her car, etc.), but I'm pretty sure they have other more realistic/serious concerns and situations they face. As much as I love watching these videos with the kids so I can chuckle in the background, I do think that Hollywood should come out with an update!

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