News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Agrees with letter-writer: Send illegal aliens to Iraq

To The Daily: Just wanted to drop a line to say that Monty Cagle has come up with a way to turn two negatives into one big positive. What he suggest in his letter is absolutely the best solution I’ve heard to date. Someone hurry and send this to the White House.

Donna Gurliaccio
Hartselle

Most children abducted by those they know, trust

To The Daily: Children are our most valuable resource, and I appreciate efforts on behalf of any group or individual working to ensure their safety and security. However, regarding the article on the front page of The Daily on Jan. 23, I have concerns about the notion that strangers are the most likely risk to children.

Not only do children get the wrong picture when taught Stranger Danger exclusively, but parents are also lulled into a false sense of security that their children are safe. Statistics reveal that about 300-400 abductions a year are by strangers — the far greater majority come at the hands of someone the child already knows. In fact, more than 90 percent of the children who are harmed are victimized by those they know and trust. It is much like our fear of sharks, even though we are rarely in the ocean. Our fears don’t always match reality.

Every year, Parents and Children Together presents the Yello-Dyno curriculum to all first graders in the Decatur, Hartselle and Morgan County school systems with funds provided by the United Way of Morgan County. Last year, we reached almost 1,700 local school children with this program. “Tricky People” teaches children how to take three steps back and “run like the wind” from anyone who makes them feel unsafe. It stresses the importance of recognizing the danger of a stranger who, through “charm,” becomes a friend in minutes, as well as recognizing dangerous behavior from people they know well.

When the goal is to keep children safe, we need to pay attention to the most prevalent reality, which is to safeguard our children against “tricky” people, and not just “strangers.”

Tiki Hubbard
Executive director,
Parents and Children Together
Decatur

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