Archive for Love Our Children USA

“GET BLUE” – NATIONAL EFFORT TO EDUCATE AMERICA DURING APRIL, NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH

April marks the 29th anniversary of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time dedicated to child abuse education, awareness and prevention activities. To observe National Child Abuse Prevention month, Love Our Children USA, (a national organization headquartered in New York whose mission is to break the cycle of violence against children) begins its ninth annual GET BLUE campaign – a national effort to educate and raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention.

The “Blue Ribbon” is the symbol for child abuse prevention. Love Our Children USA urges every person across the country to GET BLUE. By wearing a Blue Ribbon pin during April and throughout the year, we can educate families, children, neighbors and communities on how to prevent child abuse and neglect — encourage communities and individuals in recognizing and preventing child abuse, assist families in achieving healthy parenting practices through education and resources and empower individuals to report child victimization and intervene in situations where violence and neglect harm children.

To signify the importance of the month, Love Our Children USA announces the Ninth Annual National Love Our Children Day on Saturday, April 14th. Created by Love Our Children USA, National Love Our Children Day is celebrated annually to honor children, strengthen families and raise awareness for efforts to keep children safe. Each year the day is recognized with a proclamation from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

National Love Our Children Day is like Mother’s and Father’s Day for children and is celebrated across the U.S. This day was created to acknowledge the value of children and to educate parents on the importance of giving them love, protection and respect, the three essential elements children need to become strong and successful adults. By promoting healthy and happy children and strengthening families we can keep kids safe.

To create a greater awareness Love Our Children USA has created a virtual i-Walk which will take place online during the month of April. The awareness and funds raised will go towards parenting education programs to keep children safe and strengthen families. The i-Walk is sponsored by Karma 411, Rolemommy.com, Project You Magazine, Kenn Viselman Presents and the Oogieloves.

In just one year the number of child sexual abuse by teachers was alarming. There were five cases in New York City alone just in February and the scandal at the Miramonte School in Los Angeles shook the education community there. The Penn State and Syracuse scandals shook college campuses and all of the parents in the country who harmed or killed there children this year was tragic.

According to Love Our Children USA Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ross Ellis “Child abuse has reached epidemic proportions and the unnecessary tragedies we’ve seen this past year calls for educating the public immediately and often.” Reports of child abuse nationwide have increased by 30-percent in the last 10-years. If the country thinks child abuse isn’t a problem, they need to think again. More than 3 million children are victims of child abuse each year and almost 1.8 million children are reported missing each year, many of whom are abducted from their homes and front yards. Those are only the ones that are reported.

“It is of critical importance that we educate the American public and raise a greater awareness to break the cycle of violence against children – before it starts,” says Ellis.

Ross Ellis said “A child’s voice is small, ignored and unheard. We must raise the volume so that everyone hears their message. Imagine if everyone in the country wore a Blue Ribbon — we could make such an impact in raising awareness to break the cycle that breaks children’s hearts, spirits and lives. We must protect our children instead of protecting the people who are supposed to be protecting our most innocent. ”

National Child Abuse Prevention Month is not only a timely opportunity to remind ourselves of our collective responsibility to protect America’s children and strengthen America’s families, but it is time to accelerate education and awareness of this very public epidemic and make our children a priority NOW. The country, our communities, concerned citizens, and even youth must work together to break the cycle.

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School Cover Up: Injustice to a Little Girl in Naples, Fl

Recently, I wrote an article about Steven Noyes, a teacher in Naples, Florida who  has been accused of inappropriately touching his former 9 year-old female  student Jane Doe. (See blog post May 21st.)

Why former?

The school expelled little Jane Doe. The  teacher has refused to cooperate with  police and has returned to teaching at the private Christian Village School in Naples, Fl. which is affiliated with the North Naples United Methodist Church,

Not only does Noyes refuse to cooperate with police, but he has recently been seen hugging children in school and holding hands with students. Odd that should happen especially when the parents reported the abuse to Ginger Sauter, the school’s principal, and she told the parents “this is all my fault, I shouldn’t have let him hug the children.”

It’s bad enough that Noyes has been accused of inappropriately touching a child, but why is he holding hands with a student? Why is he hugging students?

The injustice to Jane Doe is unfair. She has not only been violated but she has been forced to go to a new school, make new friends and leave everything behind because of a teacher’s indiscretions and a school’s incompetence to handle the situation properly.

As reported earlier, the teacher is by all accounts “beloved” and has a clean record. The same scenario goes for the “priests” who sexually abuse children and all of the other people who choose careers working with children, only to groom them and then sexually abuse them. That’s the typical M.O. of a child molester.

And holding hands and hugging little children is beyond their realm of “wrong.”

We must seek justice for Jane Doe and her family – and for all of the other Jane and John Does who this happens to.

This case should serve as a wake-up call to all parents. Never say “It won’t happen to my kid” because it happened to Jane Doe who comes from a lovely Christian family with parents who entrusted the care and well-being to this school – to this teacher.

Jane Doe deserves justice! Her claim must be corroborated. Local news comments are aimed at discrediting her and her family.

Steven Noyes lived and taught in Harrington, Maine and moved Naples, Fl where he teaches at the Christian Village School.

Why is the teacher being protected by the school when it’s Jane Doe who should be protected?

Teacher child abuse happens in every state, but never has a student been told to leave school for telling the truth.
If you know of a case like this in Florida – Report it to law enforcement and call Child Protective Services in Florida (800) 962-2873

If you know of a case like this in Maine – Report it to law enforcement and call Child Protective Services in Maine (800) 452-1999

Or you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at National Hotline 1-800-422-4453

Please help Jane Doe get the justice she deserves.

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Teacher Accused of Molesting Student: Cover Up

  

When we send our children to school, we expect that the school, its principal, teachers and its faculty are going to protect our children.

Children are taught to respect and honor parental authority figures such as teachers, guidance counselors, and principals and not to question their actions. We trust our schools to protect our most vulnerable … yet children are being sexually molested by the very people who are supposed to protect them. Most abusers remain undetected and free to continue their abuse of power and violation of professional ethics.

It never enters into our minds that a “beloved” teacher would touch our children inappropriately or have sex with them.

The sad reality is that it does happen and it recently took place in Naples, Fl.

On May, 19th, Robin Sax, a California-based attorney and former sex crimes prosecutor, who is a frequent network TV commentator on high-profile legal cases and a national expert in child sexual abuse, and Jeff Herman, a nationally-recognized advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse filed filing of a new lawsuit against The Village School, a Naples-area private school affiliated with the North Naples United Methodist Church, for the sexual abuse of a 9 year old student at the school.   

The nine year old little girl was touched inappropriately by her homeroom teacher, Steven Noyes. The police investigated the case, but when the teacher in question didn’t cooperate, they dropped the ball.  The teacher was not willing to talk to police nor take a poly.
 
The parents are really amazing and brave. They are standing up for their little girl in the way every parent should not just by believing her but by doing everything right from  the first minute until now.  Obviously, they are devastated but remain strong and committed to what is right.

WHO BELIEVES JANE DOE?
 
A little girl comes home with a terrible secret, she’s just been touched by her favorite teacher; touched in a way she knows is wrong. What any one familiar with sexual assault will know is that this is was likely the beginning of the touching while the grooming of Jane Doe happened for months. 

Jane Doe does exactly what we teach our children to do. If someone touches you inappropriately – TELL someone. 
 
And that’s just what Jane Doe did. But what happened next has left her family hurt, angry and ready to fight for justice for this very brave little girl.
 
The injustice begins in a tight-knit Naples, FL community at a school dedicated to Christian values where Doe has been a student since kindergarten.  She is an outgoing, kind girl, who still to this day doesn’t even get the sexual nature of a breast touch as sex, and breasts even being sexual are not even on her radar. 

Her parents are the kind of people you’d want in your community, in your school, and as the support system to a traumatized kid. You want them as your friends. They are church going, softball playing, parents who take pride in their value-driven life. In fact, they chose Doe’s school because of its mission of, “educating the child’s mind, body, and spirit through Christian values in an ever-changing world.”
 
Since the day they told Doe’s story to the school, they’ve felt anything but Christian values. 
 
THE INCIDENT:

Just after Christmas break Jane Doe is in her homeroom class working on her math homework and gets stumped on a long division problem and asks her teacher for help. She goes up to her teacher’s desk, and that’s when it happens. 

As Doe tells her mother and father, the teacher began helping her with her first question. He put his hand under her dress and on her knee. Then, he reached his hand up her back and under her shirt, coming around the front to rub her chest.  He keeps his hand there while he helps her with three other math problems.

Afterwards, Doe thanks him and returns to her seat.
 
THE AFTERMATH:
The parents didn’t panic, but they did want answers. They approached the head of the school and heard her say, “This is all my fault, I shouldn’t have let him hug the children.”

Then things quickly turned from bad to worse. The school expels little Jane Doe (THE MOST EGREGIOUS PART OF THIS CASE!!)  The teacher, has refused to cooperate with police, has returned to his job.

PRIOR TO ANY LAWSUIT, attorneys made many attempts to simply get answers.  There was no desire to sue — just a desire to make sure there was a proper police and school investigation. While the police partially did their job, the school failed this family, and Jane Doe.  Attorneys tried to get information, and were told the only way to do it was to bring a case. 

Thus, THE LAWSUIT:

This is the story of a father who believes, and is standing up for his little girl. It’s about a mother who wants to make sure no other child goes through the pain and suffering her daughter has.  The goal in filing a suit is to get answers, to hold the school accountable, to make sure that this case is not simply swept under the rug.  It is our goal to have a safe forum for people to come forward as we know that there are likely other victims out there. 

Child sexual abuse has reached epidemic proportions in schools throughout our nation and has become an alarmingly frequent occurrence. The cases that are surfacing almost daily serve as a wake-up call to everyone in America to protect our children!

The teacher is by all accounts “beloved” and has a clean record. The same scenario goes for the “priests” who sexually abuse children and all of the other people who choose careers working with children, only to groom them and then sexually abuse them. That’s the typical M.O. of a child abuser.

We must seek justice for Jane Doe and her family – and for all of the other Jane and John Does who this happens to. 

To believe it can’t happen to us and our children – that no one we know would ever abuse our kids, and certainly not someone entrusted with their care or well-being — is to live in denial. Sexual abusers tend to choose occupations that put them in close contact with children. They can be found in every profession. They are heterosexual and homosexual — they don’t discriminate.

Covering up abuse in schools sends a message to the abuser that it is acceptable behavior. We must report the abuser and get help for the children. School boards must send a message that they care and accept zero tolerance.

Jane Doe should have justice. This never should have happened to her. She should not have been touched inappropriately by her teacher, nor should she have been told to leave school for telling the truth. 

Jane Doe’s claim must be corroborated. Local news comments are aimed at discrediting her and her family.

Steven Noyes lived with his parents in Maine and taught there. Subsequently he moved to Naples, Fl where he lives alone in his parent’s apartment and teaches at the Village School.

If you see something – say something! If you know something – report it!

We must start to protect our children instead of protecting the people who hurt them. We must protect Jane Doe!

If you know of a case like this in Florida – Report it to law enforcement and call Child Protective Services in Florida (800) 962-2873

If you know of a case like this in Maine – Report it to law enforcement and call Child Protective Services in Maine (800) 452-1999

Or you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at National Hotline  1-800-422-4453

Ross Ellis
Child Advocate, Media Commentator
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Love Our Children USA

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College student tweets to end child abuse: what one person can do!

  Becca Jude of New Jersey is an 18 year-old   college freshman at Miami University. And she’s   not just any college student, she is one with   passion, perseverance   and commitment.

  During her senior year of high school she began   researching child abuse.  Her research led her to   fully realize what a horrific epidemic child abuse   is in today’s world.  She had no idea how many   kids were  abused and how many die all over the world. That’s when she found Love Our Children USA.

Being completely addicted to Twitter which her parents weren’t too happy about, Becca decided to create a twitter account to spread the word about how serious the issue of child abuse is and began to raise awareness.  Her Twitter name is @st0pchildabuse.

Last July, Love Our Children USA received an email from Becca saying she wanted to raise money and awareness for us on Twitter.

She talked about it on her personal twitter page and spread the word.  For the first few days she tweeted facts and statistics about child abuse and put up links to Love Our Children USA’s Website.  After two days, she realized that there was more that she could do, because just tweeting about the problem was not enough.  So she decided to donate 10 cents to Love Our Children USA for every follower that she gained until 2,500 followers, $250.  Her goal of 2,500 followers seemed very far off and she didn’t know how long it would take, or if she would ever get there.

A few days later, Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie retweeted Becca’s tweet saying she wanted to follow and help spread the word. Becca was thrilled!!  Thirty minutes later she gained over 250 followers.  The following day Justin Beiber’s Road Manager and a member of his crew, Ryan Good retweeted Becca’s tweets.  The account grew to 300 followers! Then Justin’s bodyguard followed, saying he loved the cause.  If you are a Bieber fan on twitter any member of Justin’s crew noticing you is a huge deal and the fact that they noticed the account meant a lot to Becca and to Love Our Children USA! 

Suddenly the rapper Lil Twist followed.  After that the followers just kept increasing and Becca was thrilled that people were supporting her and telling her that what she was doing was amazing and that she was a true inspiration. 

When Becca receives all of this kudos she’s not quite sure how to react. She doesn’t think she’s anyone’s hero – but she is to Love Our Children USA and many others!

How many 18-year-old’s do you know who would donate money per tweet to a charity to stop child abuse? Not many!

On September 18, 2010 Becca reached 2,500 followers and raised $250 for Love Our Children USA!  That was an amazing day. She cried from happiness and shock! The  icing on the cake was that the very next day Justin Bieber followed!  That meant so much to Becca because she tells us she is possibly one of Justin Bieber’s biggest fans!

In addition to raising more money and awareness for Love Our Children USA, Becca’s goal is to get Justin Bieber to tweet #st0pchildabsue to spread awareness.  She feels Justin’s tweets could really help to make a difference about putting an end to child abuse.  Becca feels that Justin’s tweets could help make it a Trending Topic which is much needed, since so many are afraid to talk about child abuse.

Justin has thousands of supporters and raises a great deal of money for his pet charity Pencils of Promise. Becca hopes that somehow she can get him to support Love Our Children USA as well – because not only does the organization work to end violence against children, but they have an amazing signature program called STOMP Out Bullying.

Other well know people who follow Becca @st0pchildabuse are Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Sean, Mandy Rain, Boyz_II_Men, Monique Coleman, Marlon Wayans and a retweet from Boyz II Men!

To date almost 9,140 people follow Becca who donates 5 cents per follower to Love Our Children USA.

Becca also donated to another child abuse prevention group until November 1st, and now is exclusively donating 5 cents per follower to Love Our Children USA.

In addition to looking for celebrity followers, Becca is looking for corporate sponsors to help as well.

She told us that she is so grateful for this account and this cause because it has truly changed her life.

Everyone at Love Our Children USA is so grateful to Becca. Not only is she helping to raise money and awareness, but she is a role model as to what one person can do!

There are many forms of child abuse, including bullying and cyber bullying. By educating parents, we can keep children safe from the very people who are supposed to be protecting them.

Meeting with parents in New York and all over the country, many tell me that they wish there was something they could do to help. Well, here is a college student who is doing something!

Ending child abuse begins with you! It begins with all of us!

Just look at what Becca is doing! Kudos and gratitude to Becca Jude!

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October is National Cyber Safety Month

October is National Cyber Safety Awareness month and it’s important for you and your family to be cyber smart and cyber safe!

Learn how to keep your children safe on the Internet. So many parents say “my child would never meet anyone from the Internet” ….yet the reality is that so many kids are looking for something more … someone more … more love … more attention … and when a stranger tells them how wonderful they are and how happy they can make them … don’t be fooled! Your kids will believe them.

Love Our Children USA offers you internet safety facts … Advice for parents and childcare givers to help keep your children surf serious, surf smart and surf safe

Here you will find information on parental control software, keeping kids from visiting inappropriate websites and ensuring their use of appropriate monitored chatrooms. You can also learn about cyber bullying which is serious and on the rise!

You will also find information which will help keep you cyber safe. The more cybersafe parents are, the safer their children will be online.

Get Surf Serious, Get Surf Smart, Get Surf Safe!

Teach children and youth the rules about what they need to do to be serious and smart in cyberspace, allowing them to have fun and keeping them safe.

Learn more here

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The second leading cause of child deaths are from drowning: Learn water safety now

Swimming is a fun activity for many children to celebrate their summer vacation.

The water can be so much fun, yet it can also be dangerous for young children. Even for kids who know how to swim, there have still been drownings.

According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years old and children 10 to 14 years. Children 4 and under actually have the highest drowning death rate in the U.S. and the majority of child drownings occur in backyard pools & spas.

Just this week, former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham’s 2-year-old son drowned in his parent’s pool spa in Las Vegas and last week NYC sixth grader Nicole Suriel drowned on a class trip to Long Beach. Two-year-old Joseph Anthony Daignault died on June 29th after drowning in his family’s swimming pool. Since the end of May, eight children died in pool drownings in Tennessee.

According to Dr. Mark Waltzman at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, toddlers have a difficult time keeping their top-heavy bodies balanced when sitting up and they often have a hard time getting back up after they fall, and can drown in just one inch of water.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE AND SEE VIDEO

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Wild West 2.0 hits the nation by storm! The reality of the dangers that lurk online

Your kids use the Internet, you use it, so do your family and friends.

We live in a digital frontier and it’s not going away. Our kids spend most of their time on the Internet which is a virtual playground for online bullies, cyber attackers, stalkers and predators.

You use the Internet for business, or you might be looking for a job, trying to make new friends or even find your mate online. You’d be surprised how many online dangers lurk online for adults as well.

There are moms who bully, people who want to ruin other’s reputations, stalkers and other cyber attackers.

No doubt about it — the Internet IS your life!

While setting up Google alerts for you and your kids are a good practice, people aren’t going to check to see what “he said …she said”, and who is telling the truth.

Wild West 2.0 already in its second print has hit book shelves across the nation! And it’s a must read for every parent!

READ MORE OF THE STORY HERE

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