The Long Walk Home: The Asenath Dukat Project
The Youth Education for Safety (YES) was created in response to the tragic death of Asenath Dukat in 1980. In 1981, in partnership with women against rape, YES was implemented district wide and remains active to this day. The program has been updated throughout the years to stay relevant and to include best practices in regards to staying safe. Every year the program is presented to each first and fourth grade class in UA City Schools, as well as to any new students. The workshop uses role-plays to teach students how to stay safe, strong and free.
The YES program teaches kids how to be safe in four specific scenarios:
In addition, parents play an important role in the program. Handouts are given to children to provide guidance to parents. Through the handouts, parents are asked to role-play possible lures a stranger might use to get a child to go with them and to evaluate their child’s walking routines to note spots of potential danger.
“It may be necessary to question the motives of adults or teens who seem highly interested in your child or want to spend time alone with your child,” counselors wrote in the handout. “Be aware of your child’s concerns, comments and questions about nightmares, television programs, movies, real-life situations and ‘what if’ situations. Listen and talk positively with your child without ridiculing your child’s feelings or denying reality.
“Believe your child, even if you have difficulty with what he or she tells you,” counselors urge parents in the handout.
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