Educate yourself

in Essential Ramblings

Under Megan’s Law we get letters from our school updating us about the presence of sex offenders in local neighborhoods and I always take a deep breath before reading.  The horror of varying possibilities slip through my mind and I shiver at the thought of my precious children or the children of friends living around people that our legal system classifies as “high risk”.  The thought that anyone who is still considered HIGH risk lives anywhere near anyone is horrifying, yet they have to live somewhere and I can only hope that the justice system has “reformed” them and that they are no longer as risky as they are classified.  Right, I am trying to be PC.

Anyway, although we can’t control who lives near us, we can control how we educate ourselves and our children.  I was just read a posting on Bedford-Katonah Patch and while reading I saw that there is a speaker coming in from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office to discuss Megan’s Law — if you can make it, it’s a start to fully being aware of what your rights are, the protection afforded your children, and how to make good decisions around educating yourself: the community meeting will be at the Bedford Town House at 321 Bedford Road in Bedford Hills on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to all members of the community.  I also read about a facebook page that connects people with the registry in your area — you can search by zip code for offenders in your area….click here.

To me, I think the registered offenders are usually the least risk to our kids, it’s the ones they haven’t found that scare me more.  Educate your children on stranger danger.  Talk about it honestly and frequently.

1.  Make sure your kids have a safe password that ANY friend, stranger or family member should know if they are picking them up from school — tell them NEVER to go with someone unless they know the password.
2.  Tell kids that no adult should EVER ask a child for help — finding a dog, giving directions or putting something in their car.
3.  If they are lost or nervous and can’t find a policeman somewhere, look for a mother with children.
4.  The simplest instructions to remember in any emergency — Run.  Yell.  Tell.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of things to talk about — for more resources check out youth.westchestergov.com/protecting-youth/child-abuse/resources