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Ensuring Student Safety – Personal Body Safety Lessons

MCPS implements Personal Body Safety Lessons (PBSLs) with grade-level, age appropriate content for students in every grade from Pre-K to 12. These lessons were developed with input from national stakeholders and County partners, and are designed to empower students to recognize and report suspected cases of abuse without fear of reprisal. The Chief of the State’s Attorney’s Office—Special Victims Division has commended MCPS on the PBSLs and shared publicly that these lessons are making a difference in children reporting incidents of abuse and neglect.  In addition, embedded in the MCPS elementary and secondary health curriculum are age-appropriate lessons on safety and injury prevention, family life and human sexuality, cyberbullying and social media, healthy relationships, harassment and intimidation. In addition, MCPS partners with the Montgomery County Family Justice Foundation and youth service providers in sponsoring the annual “Choose Respect Montgomery” conference shops for students to learn about healthy teen relationships, teen dating violence prevention, and where to get help.


Personal Body Safety Lesson Objectives

Pre-Kindergarten

  1. Identify which areas of their body are private.
  2. Identify whether a touch is uncomfortable.
  3. Understand that they have the right to keep their body safe from uncomfortable touches.
  4. Understand how to refuse uncomfortable touches.
  5. Understand that they should tell a trusted adult about any uncomfortable touches.
  6. Understand how to tell a trusted adult about any touch that makes them feel uncomfortable or if someone wants them to keep a secret.

Kindergarten

  1. identify which areas of their body are private.
  2. understand that they have the right to say who touches their body.
  3. identify whether a touch is “good” or uncomfortable.
  4. understand how to refuse uncomfortable touches.
  5. understand that they should tell an adult about any uncomfortable touch.
  6. understand how to tell an adult about any touch that makes them feel uncomfortable.


First Grade

  1. understand that they should check first with a parent or caregiver before going anywhere.
  2. understand that “uh-oh” feelings warn them that they need to ask for help.
  3. identify which areas of their bodies are private.
  4. understand that they have the right to say who touches their body.
  5. identify whether a touch is a good or uncomfortable touch.
  6. understand how to avoid and refuse uncomfortable touches.
  7. identify the difference between good/happy and bad/unsafe secrets.
  8. understand that they must tell an adult about any uncomfortable touch or unsafe secrets.
  9. identify adults that they can trust and talk to.
  10. understand how to tell an adult about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Second Grade

  1. understand that “uh-oh” or “yucky” feelings are a warning that a situation is unsafe.
  2. understand that their body belongs to them and they have the right to say who may touch it.
  3. understand how to avoid and refuse uncomfortable touches.
  4. understand that uncomfortable touches demanded by another person are not their fault.
  5. demonstrate how to tell an adult about any uncomfortable touch, unsafe secrets, tricks, or threats.
  6. demonstrate how to tell another adult if an adult you tell about any uncomfortable touches does not help you.
  7. identify adults that they can trust to talk to about any uncomfortable or unsafe things.


Third Grade

  1. understand that “yucky” or uncomfortable feelings are an indication that a situation is potentially unsafe, that they should leave if possible, and tell a trusted adult about it.
  2. tell a trusted adult about any uncomfortable, confusing, scary, manipulative, or dangerous situations they have experienced.
  3. recognize that their body belongs to them and they have the right to say when and how someone else can touch it.
  4. identify that secrets and/or threats about touching should be told to a trusted adult.
  5. recognize that it is not a child’s fault if someone touches them inappropriately.
  6. understand that sexual abusers may use tricks, bribes, or threats to gain and maintain trust and secrecy.

Fourth grade

  1. recognize and report child abuse.
  2. understand why it might be hard to tell a trusted adult.
  3. understand that telling a trusted adult can help you to feel better and make the abuse stop.
  4. identify ways to tell a trusted adult even when feeling uncomfortable.
  5. practice telling trusted adults about unsafe or uncomfortable situations.
  6. recognize that adults that abuse children can be people that you know.


Third Grade

  1. understand that “yucky” or uncomfortable feelings are an indication that a situation is potentially unsafe, that they should leave if possible, and tell a trusted adult about it.
  2. tell a trusted adult about any uncomfortable, confusing, scary, manipulative, or dangerous situations they have experienced.
  3. recognize that their body belongs to them and they have the right to say when and how someone else can touch it.
  4. identify that secrets and/or threats about touching should be told to a trusted adult.
  5. recognize that it is not a child’s fault if someone touches them inappropriately.
  6. understand that sexual abusers may use tricks, bribes, or threats to gain and maintain trust and secrecy.

Fourth grade

  1. recognize and report child abuse.
  2. understand why it might be hard to tell a trusted adult.
  3. understand that telling a trusted adult can help you to feel better and make the abuse stop.
  4. identify ways to tell a trusted adult even when feeling uncomfortable.
  5. practice telling trusted adults about unsafe or uncomfortable situations.
  6. recognize that adults that abuse children can be people that you know.


Fifth Grade

  1. recall and discuss when to use personal body safety rules.
  2. identify feelings and physical signs associated with good, bad and confusing touches.
  3. identify and discuss personal rights.
  4. identify and discuss neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
  5. identify when secrets should and should not be told (e.g., good and bad secrets).
  6. distinguish between safe and dangerous situations that may occur in various environments.
  7. discuss how “listening to your feelings” helps to distinguish between safe and dangerous situations.
  8. explore appropriate responses to dangerous situations.
  9. recognize that when child abuse or neglect occurs it is not the child’s fault.
  10. identify specific adults and community resources to go to for help.
  11. discuss ways to help victims of abuse and/or neglect.
  12. recognize that child neglect and abuse are against the law.
  13. recognize that they have the right to protect themselves and to be safe in the world and on the World Wide Web.

6th-9th Grade

  1. define types of abuse
  2. understand and recognize the signs of abuse
  3. thunderstand the impact of abuse
  4. identify support people and community resources
  5. describe what a victim of abuse or family member can do to report abuse or to seek help

10th -12th Grade

  1. PBSL objectives are covered in the Health courses curriculums

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