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Staying out of harm’s way

Molly Shore

Jasmine Hansen can scream really loud, and was encouraged to do so

Wednesday as part of a summer camp program at First Lutheran Church

School.

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“I would scream, and I would run and ask for help because I don’t

want to get kidnapped,” said the 9-year-old, who was taking part in a

role-playing exercise.

Jasmine was one of 40 children 5 to 10 who listened and

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participated in Patrice Shattil’s Keep Kids Safe program, which

teaches children how to be safe when they’re not at home or school.

Shattil and self-defense expert Grant Shelley demonstrated tricks

that strangers might use when approaching kids, as well as ways for

kids to protect themselves if they are in danger of being abducted.

Because children cannot judge a person’s character just by looking

at them, the first thing Shattil told kids was not to talk to

strangers.

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“Don’t guess if they’re good or bad on the inside,” she said.

The children were told to remember the three S’s: Strike, scream

and split.

Strike unfriendly strangers in places where it hurts -- the eyes,

the nose, the neck or the groin, Shelley said.

If a stranger asks for help, Shattil told the children to scream

“no,” then run away to find their parents or a helpful stranger like

a police officer or a store manager.

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The children learned if they are in danger and near a phone, they

can dial 911 and leave the phone off the receiver. That way, they

were told, the police can quickly trace where the call originated.

And they were also told they don’t need money to dial 911 from a pay

phone.

“Calling for help is the best thing I learned,” said 8-year-old

Chris Dedeian.

Summer camp director Millie Raymond said other safety programs

have been presented to campers, but this was one of the best.

“Even the little kids were interested,” Raymond said.


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