May 23, 2019, 9:05 a.m.

Southmountain Staff Teach Student Safety

Community outreach and prevention are important parts of Southmountain Children and Family Services’ mission, and community education about child abuse is an important way to meet that goal.  Recently Rhonda Robbins, facility dog specialist with Southmountain Children and Family Services, partnered with McDowell County Sheriff Office Detective Paul Alkire to provide education on Internet Safety to West McDowell Middle School students and their parents. Detective Alkire, Cyber Crimes Investigator, provided tips and instruction on how to monitor internet and cell phone use; how to keep kids safe from on-line predators; and information on cyber-bullying.  This program will be incorporated into 6th grade orientation for both students and parents starting this spring.  The McDowell County Children’s Advocacy Center (Lily's Place) has also been offering a "Personal Body Safety" Program in McDowell County Elementary Schools for over five years. This program uses grade specific, age appropriate language to empower students to tell a trusted adult if someone makes them feel uncomfortable or touches them in an inappropriate way.