May 5, 2016

Hands are not for hitting

By Jerry W. Kram

Hands can do many things. They can wave hello. They can carry things. They can color and draw pictures.

They can also hurt other people. But they don’t have to. That is the message that Rhonda Lura has been working on with the organization Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota for the last three years. As a spokesperson for the organization, Lura has developed a presentation for elementary school children that she has been taking to schools since December. She gave that presentation to children at Edwin Loe Elementary over two days last week as part of the school’s Child Abuse Awareness Month activities.

"My main message to all the students is that they need to find a trusted adult if they are being abused or know someone who is being abused," Lura said. "They also need to know that if that trusted adult doesn’t help them the need to keep speaking out until they find a trusted adult that will help them."

Lura asks the children who their trusted adults are. They can be parents, teachers, coaches and other family members such as aunts and sibling.

As part of the presentation, Lura reads the book, Hands Are Not For Hitting.

"I looked a lot of different books but none of them had the message that I wanted to give to children," Lura said. "I started doing my own research and found this book. It explains to children about positive ways of using their hands, especially if they are angry. It talks about about how do they feel when people hit them. It’s a good way to let the kids talk about their feelings and positive ways to deal with anger."


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