Stay Safe Program
Safety Ambassador scheme
Children's Safety Celebration
Stay Safe at public events
Stay Safe while door knocking
Stay Safe on public transport
Stay Safe on the internet
Stay Safe from bullies
Safety Ambassador scheme
This multi-award winning scheme was introduced in schools as a means of promoting and maintaining awareness of Safer Communities, and particularly the Safety Assist program and the security that Safety Assist offers to children and the community. Schools are encouraged to appoint student Safety Ambassadors – between 2 and 4, depending on the size of the school.
The role of Safety Ambassadors includes:
Representing Safer Communities Australia amongst students
Promoting Safety Assist lessons in classes
Promoting other issues of safety throughout the school community.
Once appointed, Safety Ambassadors are presented with a badge, certificate and information kit, which includes activity sheets, ideas, lessons and resources. Annual awards are also presented to selected Ambassadors for outstanding achievement.
Safer Communities Australia supports Safety Ambassadors throughout the year. Ambassadors receive regular newsletters and have the opportunity to attend training workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to acknowledge the important work undertaken by Safety Ambassadors, to put them in touch with the resources that are available to them and to support and motivate them in promoting the Safety Assist program and other issues of safety, including personal safety, fire safety, accident prevention and so on.
Through its success in helping students to promote safety in their school communities, this important Safety Ambassador program was acknowledged by winning both the state and national awards in the emergency and safety category of the prestigious National CommunityLink Volunteer Awards in 2001, the International Year of Volunteers.
The Safety Ambassador scheme was again recognised and honoured with a National Child Protection Award in 2005 and an Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Award in 2006. The Safety Ambassador program fits well with DECS “Crime Prevention Education - learning for safer communities”.
All schools are encouraged to participate in this program.
Children's Safety Celebration
Safer Communities Australia organises an annual Children’s Safety Celebration which is one of the major events in Children’s Week each October. The purpose of this important function is to educate children on ways to stay safe and where they can get help if needed.
A different host school is chosen each year. In the weeks leading up to Children’s Week, the host school arranges safety lessons and activities that relate to the celebration. The day is launched with a special safety assembly attended by students, teachers, parents, invited guests and other members of the school community.
Safety Ambassadors throughout the state are also invited to this celebration where they receive Certificates of Appreciation for their efforts.
After the assembly, the children spend the day following a Safety Trail on the local oval. They visit over 20 displays from emergency services and other safety organisations as they learn about how to keep themselves safe. Exhibits have included fire trucks, police vehicles, SES equipment, Life Education, safety around animals, a Safety Assist bus, quarantine, and many other interactive displays.
The theme of the celebration is: “I have the right to be safe”.
Previous host schools:
1997 - Seaford Rise Primary School
1998 - Salisbury Primary School
1999 - Our Lady of the Manger School
2000 - Magill Primary School
2001 - Trinity College, Gawler
2002 - Morphett Vale East Primary School
2003 - Greenwith Primary School & Our Lady of Hope
2004 - Stradbroke Primary School
2005 - Settlers Farm Campus
2006 - Bellevue Heights Primary School
2007 - Tyndale Christian School
2008 - Mitcham Schools
2009 – Coorara Primary School
2010 – Modbury West Primary School
2011 – Blakeview Primary School
Stay Safe at public events
What happens if you are in a crowd and get separated from your family or friends? What should a child do if she/he is lost in a shopping centre or other crowded area?
Be prepared – plan ahead
Some safety rules for children
Make sure you know your name, address and phone number.
Know your safety plan before you leave home.
Don’t wander away from your parents or carers.
Talk to your parents or carers about where to go if you are separated.
If you are lost, don’t go searching for the people you are with. Look for a police officer or go to the nearest shop (preferably a Safety Assist one) and ask for help.
If someone offers you a ride or asks you to go with them, say no and run straight to a shop or Safety Assist location.
If someone grabs you, struggle and scream out for help, making as much noise as you can.
Some safety rules for Parents and Carers
Before you leave home, talk to your children about what they will do if they become lost.
Bright and colourful clothing will stand out better in a crowd, so dress your child in easily seen clothes.
Keep young children close to you at all times.
Teach your children not to wander too far away from you.
Don’t let children go to the toilet alone.
Decide on an easily identifiable place where you will meet if you become separated.
In shopping centres this might be an information counter. In some centers these counters are also Safety Assist locations.
Check your plans with your children before leaving home.
Teach your children to recognize the Safety Assist sign and to look for the sign if they need help.
Remember: We all have the right to feel safe at all times.
Stay Safe while door knocking
Calling all children
Do you go out trick or treating on Halloween?
Do you ever sell raffle tickets door to door?
If so, don’t forget – your safety comes first!
Children and their parents should follow a few simple rules if children go out door knocking.
The Golden Rules for Parents
Always know where your children are.
Always know who your children are with.
Always know what your children are doing.
If your children need to sell raffle tickets or chocolates or any other fund raising item, offer to sell these goods through your relatives, friends and workplace.
Ensure that your children are, at all times, under your direct supervision, or that of another responsible adult known and approved by you.
Discuss the purpose and suitability of the activity with your children.
Make sure you and your children know where the nearest Safety Assist locations are in case help is needed.
The Golden Rules for Children
Before you set off door knocking, talk to your parents about how best to keep yourself safe.
Make sure your parents know where you are going, who you will be with and what you will be doing.
Tell your parents how long you will be gone and what time you will be home.
Don’t go door knocking alone. Go with a group of friends and have an adult with you if possible.
If the front door of a house is not clearly visible from the street, don’t go in to that property.
If someone invites you to go inside their house, DON’T GO. It doesn’t matter what reason they might give you – don’t go in.
Don’t stay out door knocking after dark.
If you need help for any reason, go to a Safety Assist location or the nearest open shop.
Remember – respect other people’s privacy, property and peace.
Stay Safe on public transport
Travelling on a bus, a train or a tram? Be careful – for safety’s sake. Stop! Look! Listen! Think! whenever you are near trains, trams, buses or rail lines.
At the bus, train or tram stop
Stay well back from the roadside or well away from the edge of a train platform.
Don’t forget that electric trains are very fast yet very quiet. Listen out for trains.
While waiting, children should be in a group and, at night, in a well-lit area.
Always wait until the vehicle stops completely before going near the door.
Never try to open the door when a train or tram is still moving.
Wait for other passengers to get off first.
Don’t push or shove others when getting on the vehicle.
Riding on the bus, train or tram
Be courteous to drivers – they have the important job of getting everyone to their destinations safely.
Move on to the bus, train or tram and take your seat, making sure school bags are not blocking the aisle.
Everyone should remain quietly seated.
Don’t distract the driver or annoy others on board.
If you are travelling by yourself, sit near the front of the vehicle, or near people you recognise.
Remember – nothing goes out the window. No papers, litter, arms or heads. Vandalism is not only stupid but also costly. Report any vandalism to your driver.
Do not associate with a stranger. Move seats if necessary.
Look out for your stop and be ready to leave the vehicle without having to rush.
Leaving the bus, train or tram
Don’t rush when getting off the bus, train or tram.
Once you are off the vehicle, stand well back.
Walk carefully to the nearest kerb.
Never try to cross a road before the bus or tram has moved away.
Never cross the road or train/tram track until you can see clearly both ways.
Use a pedestrian crossing if possible.
Don’t cross the road in front of a bus or tram, or between parked cars.
What else should you do?
Parents and carers should always wait for children on the same side of the road as the bus, train or tram.
Keep your property close to you at all times.
It is a good idea to always carry a phone card or money for a phone call.
Ring someone at home if you will be late.
Look for a police officer or public transport staff or go to the nearest Safety Assist location.
You are important and your safety is your first priority.
Stay Safe on the internet
The World Wide Web, a multimedia learning and communication tool, is now a part of our society. However, care must be taken, particularly with children, as there is much unsuitable information available. Children could accidentally or deliberately access information or pictures that are offensive. They may also come into contact with inappropriate individuals who may wish to cause them harm.
What can you do to protect your children?
Locate your computer in a family area of your home, not in a child’s bedroom.
Spend time at the computer with your children and take an interest in what they are doing.
Keep your password confidential and log on to the Internet for your children rather than allowing them unlimited and unsupervised access.
Never give your password to anyone, not even a friend.
Encourage children to tell you about unsuitable sites that make them scared or uncomfortable.
Children should be encouraged to send e-mails only to friends and not to strangers.
Install Child-Safety software on your computer that prevents children from accessing 'Adult' web sites.
Caution your children about the following:
Be very wary of strangers on line. The people they are chatting to may not be who they say they are. Children might believe they are chatting to a child but it could be an adult trying to deceive them.
NEVER reveal personal details like name, address or school when chatting on the Internet.
Never send a picture of yourself to a person you don’t know.
Do not give information about credit accounts or bank accounts.
If your children want to meet a stranger they have chatted to online, they should talk to their parents first. NEVER arrange to meet someone you don’t know.
Don’t open e-mails from people you don’t know or trust – you risk a virus infection.
Information on the Internet is not always reliable, so take a careful approach.
If an Internet site has a questionnaire or competition, children should talk to their parents before filling them out.
Stay Safe from bullies
Bullying - It Hurts
(This information is reproduced with permission of the British Columbia Block Parent Program.)
Note: In the following, the word “he”, “his” or “him” refers to either he or she.
What is bullying?
The following responses are from ten- and eleven-year-old Peer Counsellors.
“being picked on”
“being called names”
“being pushed or hit”
“never being left alone”
These responses are how some children perceive bullying. It is much more than good-natured teasing. It is serious. Although not all students feel it is a major problem, there is concern. The evidence and incidence of bullying varies from school to school and district to district, but the effects are always the same. It is humiliating and very often devastating to the innocent victim.
Bullying is a form of instrumental aggression. That is, it allows for the bully to release his aggression on an innocent victim for other things that may be troubling him. It can be terrifying whether it is physical or verbal. The effect it has on someone who has been routinely bullied can last for the rest of his life. It is difficult to trust, when you have been hurt by a bully. Mental anguish is much more difficult to recover from than bumps or bruises.
Types of bullying
Verbal and Psychological
use of words to hurt someone
no physical evidence on the outside, but the victim suffers internally
it is detrimental to the well being of an individual
can be more damaging to the victim
hair pulling, spitting, punching, pushing and kicking are all forms of violent aggression
a group surrounding a victim
mild aggressive behaviour can explode into full-blown violence
Whatever the type of bullying, it must be strongly communicated that all violence is wrong. It will not be tolerated. Everyone must understand how victims of violence are harmed. Parents, schools and communities can work together to teach positive interaction through the use of learned social skills. This provides a warm, safe and welcoming community.
Make children aware of the dynamics of communication and social skills.
Why are some children bullies?
There are many reasons that children become bullies and none of them are positive. The reasons include:
an unhappy home situation
not having the knowledge to act in a positive manner
liking the feeling of power they have over others
having a good feeling through hurting others
having been bullied themselves at one time or another
having hurt others, it provides for an anger-release mechanism
they have a lack of self-confidence
they are envious of another’s belongings
they are just showing off
they see too much violence on television
A bully needs to know someone cares about him, but also needs to know that his behaviour is not acceptable. Working with school counsellors or administration will help a bully to understand how to react in a positive way. The bully may be just as frightened as his victim. Understanding our feelings is the first step towards more positive, productive relationships.
REMEMBER: Children of all ages need firm rules against doing harm and for doing good.
What are the targets of a bully?
They may be
those who lack confidence
those who are of a different ethnic origin
those who are overweight or underweight
those who appear to have a different economic background than the bully
Whatever the reasons for a child being bullied, it needs to be stopped. Bullying is not to be tolerated as it is destructive, both to the victim and to the bully. Neither will have a happy existence.
As adults we can discover the extent of the problem in our community and help to initiate remedies if they are not already in place. Many schools use a pro-active approach by helping students discover their own solutions to confrontations as compared to reactive, which could include suspension from school.
Any situation handled in a positive manner has a healthy outcome.
Examples of bullying
Troy is on his way home from the store. He encounters a group of teenagers. He knows of them but has not had any encounters with them in the past. They are coming closer. What can he do?
Plan of action
look for a safe place to go (a Safety House or shop)
avoid showing fear or anger
be prepared to talk his way out of a violent situation by responding in a humorous way.
Troy is surrounded. They are pushing and shoving him back and forth. He feels humiliated but stand up for himself by saying he does not like what they are doing. He intends to tell his parents. The teenagers threaten him with further consequences.
In this situation Troy has been frightened. When he arrives home, he tells his mum what has happened. She is supportive and when her husband arrives home they approach the other parents. A discussion takes place and it is decided that the school will be notified and begin some positive
role-playing. The student body is not informed of the names of those involved. Firm rules are spelled out of the consequences of further harassment.
If Troy had kept this incident to himself, he may have been subjected to the continuation of this bullying. He made the right choice in involving his parents. If he had not known the youths involved, local authorities may have been called upon.
Suggestions for handling teasing and put-downs
If the child knows ahead of time that he may be teased, he may be able to use some problem solving skills to come to a solution. Role-playing situations at home or at school can be an effective way of giving a child an opportunity to practice new behaviours.
If behaviour is offensive, the child may say, “Do not do that.”
Teaching children exactly how to ignore someone is a very important skill. Give them opportunities to practice this skill.
Humour can be used effectively. For example, the boy who is called “shrimp” because of his size may smile and say, “I love shrimp.”
Remember that all people get teased at one time or another. Everyone has to learn to handle it.
Consider the source. Some children bother everyone. Do not take it personally.
Disagree with the person if they have put you down. “That is your opinion. I happen to think I am OK.”
Try to understand that put-downs come from people who have a low sense of self-esteem. Sometimes children think that bullies have high self-esteem, so they need to be taught why some people put others down.
Use positive self-talk. “No matter what you say to me, I am still a worthwhile person.” “I am lovable and capable.”
Remember that the two reactions that generally reinforce bullying are fear and anger. Try to think of ways of responding that exclude those reactions.
Is your child being bullied?
A young child may tell an adult whom he/she trusts, but an older child may keep it to himself. No one wants to be called “sissy” or “cry baby”. A child being bullied will almost always display signs of the effects of this torment.
Signs to look for:
drop in grades
refusal to go to school
child changes his route (may go blocks out of his way to avoid confrontations)
changes in sleep pattern
child becomes withdrawn
unexplained losses of possessions
feeling of worthlessness
bruises or cuts
If a parent suspects the child is being bullied, encouragement is required to persuade the child to discuss it. Approach the child’s teacher, counsellor or principal and request advice on the best way to deal with the situation. When the child knows that he has the support of others, he will begin to regain his confidence. Positive assertiveness is necessary in stopping bullies.
For the victim:
Victims of bullies should be told the following:
you are special
you do not deserve to be bullied
tell an adult you trust about the bully
you can try to ignore the bully
try not to show that you are upset
tell the bully you do not like what he is doing
respond in a humorous way (eg, you are being teased about the clothes you wear, state that you are trying to start a new fad)
remember the bully has the problem, not you
try to walk away
if in a Safety House neighbourhood, got to the nearest Safety House
try to stay in a group
go to the nearest Safety Assist location for help.
These are just some of the ways in dealing with a bully. The most important point to remember is to tell an adult. Once the situation has been verbalized, it can be dealt with. You are not alone – someone will listen and help with the problem. Your silence will only increase the distress.
Listen up, bullies, your torment will not be tolerated!!!
Children are not the only victims of bullying
Seniors, too, can be victims of one or more bullies. They can be extremely vulnerable and easy targets in the following situations:
alone at night on the streets carrying large sums of money
making anti-youth remarks
walking with a mobility device
alone in secluded locations
having a look of frailty
Seniors must not place themselves in situations where their safety is at risk. There are resources available in most communities to assist with transportation if this is a problem. Family members or friends can make themselves available for nighttime activities. Positive interaction can bridge the gap between the generations.
Media violence has an effect
protect children from exposure to media violence
avoid toys and games which encourage imitation of the aggressive behaviour of superheroes
extensive research links violence in the media with antisocial and aggressive behaviour in children
old-fashioned games such as ball games, marbles, hopscotch, skipping and card games can teach important physical and social skills.
There is no proven evidence that media violence is the cause of aggression but it does contribute to antisocial behaviour. It is important for parents and caregivers to control the extent of media violence to which their children are exposed.
Lost? Hurt? Feeling unsafe?
Look for the Safety Assist sign for help.