Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Safety is the Subject

Jess Radke, Creative Copy Editor for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Inc., writes in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune that Girl Scouts can help victims of bullying. In her column about June being National Safety Month, Radke touches on online safety, stating that "some of the biggest safety threats are so hidden that parents might not even realize they're present. Keeping an open conversation about these issues and monitoring the time spent on the Internet and cell phones is a start. But one of the most effective ways to avoid these issues is to keep kids involved in programs that empower them to be positive leaders."

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, adolescent girls are significantly more likely to experience cyberbullying. "That's why the Girl Scout Leadership Experience makes a difference for thousands of area girls," states Radke. "Ninety-five percent of local Girl Scouts will stand up for what they believe in and speak out against what is wrong, and 94 percent of local Girl Scouts feel comfortable advocating for themselves and others."

In a similar column about safety in AuburnPub, Kim Dunne, Media Manager for the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, writes that "nearly half of girls define safety as not having their feelings hurt, and approximately one-third of all girls worry about being teased, bullied, threatened or having their feelings hurt when spending time with peers, participating in groups and trying new things," (Feeling Safe: What Girls Say, The Girl Scout Research Institute). "Girl Scouts believes that policy solutions should embrace an all-encompassing approach to improving school safety," according to Dunne. "Creating programs and policies that focus solely on the prevention of physical harm will not suffice; Congress should support more holistic programs and policies that address both emotional and physical security."

How do you define safety?