Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

No Ostriches, Please

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

As a Children’s Safety and Self-Defense Instructor, I was asked to speak at a lunch-n-learn program at one of the most family-friendly business organizations in the United States. I welcomed the chance to speak to an audience of pro-active, forward-thinking parents.

As the date drew close, the meeting planner requested a copy of the materials I would present. I sent a Power Point presentation, discussing the need for kids to be made aware that bad people co-exist in the world with good people, and the importance of teaching them good decision-making skills and strengthening their self-confidence so they will be unappealing targets for predators. These points were corroborated by statistics on drug use, molestation, bullying, and other issues that affect children daily.

The next email I received from the meeting planner informed me that she had no idea the subject matter would be so frightening, and that she and her manager agreed that the entire program would have to be scrapped.

I was surprised and disturbed. Year after year, this organization has been voted one of the most “family-supportive” companies in the United States. I believe that there’s more to supporting parents and their children these days than simply offering a week of summer camp when school’s out, or a few extra sick days during the year. Yet, when it came to kids’ safety, they preferred to put their heads in the sand.

I understand that the topics I mentioned above are not pleasant ones, and might lead to brief reactions of fear, anger, or sadness in some people. But the information I’ve learned as part of the radKIDS organization, the skills I share with my radKIDS students, are so vital and so helpful, I think it’s worth a few minutes’ uneasiness. This knowledge can be life-saving. And, to me, that’s worth anything!

Because of Adam Walsh

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Host of America’s Most Wanted John Walsh and his wife, Reve, stood with police in Hollywood, Florida as they officially brought to a close the case of the abduction and murder of Adam Walsh. Florida Police named pedophile and serial killer Ottis Toole as the 6-year-old boy’s murderer. (Toole died in prison for a different crime in 1996.) But, because of the love, courage, and sheer strength of the Walsh family, Adam’s light still shines.

The Adam Walsh Outreach Center for Missing Children in Washington, DC came into existence because of the life and spirit of this little boy. It has since merged with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to become the greatest resource center for child protection in the United States.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, signed into law in 2006 by President George W. Bush, protects children against sexual and other violent crimes, child pornography, and Internet dangers.

And Adam’s dad, John Walsh, hosts one of television’s longest-running programs, America’s Most Wanted. Because of his son, Walsh and his viewers have been able to assist law enforcement in the capture of over 1,000 dangerous fugitives in the last 20 years.

Many of us just shake our heads, unable to comprehend the horror a murderous pedophile wrought upon this family nearly 30 years ago. No logic, no reasoning, no cosmic justice can make sense of, or offer adequate reparation for, the violent destruction of a child. John and Reve’s amazing example of resiliency, their flat-out refusal to be crushed by evil, is something we can all be grateful for. In John’s own words, they “spiraled into hell” when their only child was killed. But, somehow, they survived and endured. And forced evil to give way to good. Children are safer today because Adam Walsh lived.