HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Some Henrico school kids will get lessons in street and online smarts. School leaders want to make sure students know how to react to tempting offers by devious strangers. The effort is part of a nationally recognized child safety program.
Those kids will learn security is not just about "don't talk to strangers" anymore. Constantly changing technology means the dangers now lurk everywhere. The Child Lures Program is turning those tools into learning devices.
As part of the curriculum, students filmed different scenarios predators can use to lure children.
The first scenario discussed included a stranger approaching three girls and asking for their help finding his dog. Scenario two was a woman posing as a talent scout to entice three boys. Lure three showed a predator using a computer to get a young girl's home address.
The Varina Elementary students participated in the program to teach their peers about "stranger danger." Social worker Rebekah Goehler told us the founder of the Child and Teen Lures Programs actually went into the prisons to talk to predators about how they entice kids.
The video of the scenes will be used in lesson plans in elementary schools.
"The fact that somebody would want to take a little kid away from their parents, to worry them and scare them; it's just a scary thought," said 5th grade participant Janѐa Tyler.
The middle school program includes students acting out mock newscasts that will be played during morning announcements.
"Children need to know, even adults need to know, you can't just go around, going with people if you don't know them," said 5th grader Rebecca Childress.
The program is now in four Henrico schools. Goehler hopes to expand it throughout the district and possibly the state. It is not actually funded through the school budget. So, if you want to donate, you can email her at email@example.com.