A dangerous situation and how to recognise it.
The dangerous situation experienced by Joshua leads to a new way of thinking about Stranger Danger. To most children strangers look just like everyone else. Young children are often impetuous and very trusting and it’s difficult for them to know when they’re facing a dangerous situation.
Joshua’s mother and teacher feel there has to be another way to teach children how to make dangerous situations noticeable to them. After discussing the problem with Mr Price, they concluded it is behaviour that sets people apart, not the way they look. A plan was developed to teach children how to recognise normal behaviour in good honest people, and to be wary of behaviour that is not normal.
The next morning a special assembly is arranged, creating a buzz of excitement. Mr Price informed the children of the previous days stranger danger situation; telling them how it is essential for them to be able to recognise when they might be in such a situation. He told them, ” Many years ago, ten year old Daniel Morecombe was waiting at a bus stop; he was taken away by strangers and never seen again. His parents formed the Daniel Morecombe Foundation in his memory and to teach children about the danger of speaking with strangers.”
Dangerous situations are recognised by abnormal behaviour
Mr Price gave an illustration of how someone could pretend to lose a puppy, and ask for help to find it. It wouldn’t be normal behaviour for anyone to ask you to leave a familiar safe place, nor is it normal behaviour for a stranger to approach and speak with you. Mr Price said, ” It’s not your job to find a missing puppy for a stranger. This a dangerous situation – get away from this person as fast as you can!”
He told the students, “Dangerous people might disguise themselves as someone you would trust, such as police officers. Police officers have rules regarding how they must behave around children. They cannot ask any child to go alone with them, anywhere. Normal police procedure for them is to contact your parents or the Principal of your school, when there’s a problem. No person who is behaving normally, would take you anywhere without asking permission from your parents; your friends parents always speak with your parents whenever they ask you to join them in any outings or activities. The teachers also have to ask permission from your parents for many activities, especially if it involves leaving the school grounds.
“A dangerous situation is anything that is not normal behaviour. You must run away as quickly as possible and tell your parents or teacher about the person. Remember what they said and what they looked like, so police officers can find them.”
Joshua is finding the attention at the assembly a little embarrassing!