Jessica Mondillo’s Blog

New York Archdiocese Sex Predator Coloring Book

 08 December 2007

The archdiocese of New York is distributing coloring books and comic books about sexual predators.  The book includes information on appropriate behavior involving the Internet, private body parts and other safety tips and is being distributed  through schools and religious institutions.

Personally I think it is ironic that an archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church is promoting safety from sexual predators, especially since the Boston archdiocese has been hit by scandals involving sexual abuse by priests on young boys.  At the same time I am glad that the church is concerned with stopping sexual predators.

The one thing that worries me is that one of their pictures to color is a guardian angel saying, “For safety’s sake, a child and an adult shouldn’t be alone in a closed room together.  If a child and an adult happen to be alone, someone should know where they are and the door should be open or have a big window in it.”

First of all, if a young child (4 or 5 years old) can read this, I am impressed.

Second, I was a very literal child.  When the fire department did their fire safety class and said if you see fire leave the building they didn’t explain that the fire had to be in the building.   Therefore I was convinced that when I saw a fire through a window from my house I had to leave the house.  The message in the coloring book to a literal child would mean that he or she should never be alone in a room with an adult, including their parents, their extended family, their doctor, or their teacher.  These are people who may need to be with a child for their health, to spend time with them or to give them extra help with homework.

I am glad the archdiocese are promoting safety and trying to help children to avoid sexual predators.  I just hope children are not nearly as literal as I was.


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