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This information can be downloaded from this page in PDF format. Single printed copies are also available by request via e-mail: oag@oag.state.md.us or telephone: (410) 576-6300 or 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free in Maryland

   

WHAT SHOULD SCHOOLS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS WHICH CARE FOR CHILDREN DO IF THEY BECOME AWARE OF A PERSON EXHIBITING SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR WHO COULD BE A THREAT TO CHILDREN?

The first and most important step: NOTIFY LOCAL POLICE, if they have not been the original source of information. After notifying law enforcement, consider taking any or all of the following actions, depending upon the nature of the threat and the information available.

  • Send letters home to parents which do one or more of the following:

    a. outline whatever description and information is available about the person and his actions which have alerted you to a specific threat;

    b. make parents aware of the Sex Offender Registry and other sources of information, see “WHERE CAN I GET FURTHER HELP?”

    c. encourage parents to talk to their children about the person who poses the specific threat, and about sexual offending more generally;

    d. advise that you will communicate to parents whatever further information becomes available to you;

    e. advise that you may talk to individual children about the threat, and that parents should call the school if they do not want their children to participate in any such discussions;

    f. encourage parents to require any children who walk to and from school to walk in groups or be accompanied by an adult, depending on age; and

    g. request parents to report any information they may have about this threat.

  • Gather school children together in small classes or groups to talk about the threat, to show them any available pictures, and to LISTEN to whatever information they may have to offer about the threat. Often children will have already noticed a suspicious person lurking around the playground, walking with kids home from school, etc.
  • Increase teacher and adult monitoring of playground activities, as well as morning and afternoon dismissal.
  • Hold a school assembly in which children act out skits or engage in role-playing to demonstrate appropriate responses to specific dangerous situations, like being followed on the way home from school, being asked to get into a car, etc.

Sources:

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Child Protection, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Center for Sex Offender Management, Why Do We Need to Talk About Managing Sex Offenders in Communities?, http://www.csom.org/prevedu/education.html.

Center for Sex Offender Management, Myths and Facts About Sex Offenders, August 2000, http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html.

Stop It Now! The Campaign to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, Warning Signs About Child Sexual Abuse, 2005, http://www.stopitnow.org/warnings.html.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation Convicted Sex Offender Site, Things You Should Know About Sexual Offending, http://sor.state.co.us/index.cfm?SOR=home.youshouldknow.

 

 
 

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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