GDOE has sexual assault prevention curriculum - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GDOE has sexual assault prevention curriculum

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When it comes to cases of sexual assault on island, children are often the target.

Back in 2012, public law implemented the Lani-Kate Task Force to change policy. Though unclear if that taskforce still meets regularly, an adopted curriculum is currently in use at the Guam Department of Education.

The Lani Kate Task Force was named after a survivor of sexual assault and an advocate for victims.

Former Sen. BJ Cruz, authored the legislation that put the force together. In 2016 they developed a school-wide GDOE curriculum to protect minors.

"The intent of this law was to educate all the children from a very early age pre-K, 3rd to 5th, middle school, and high school to teach the children the importance of protecting their body and how to say no," he said.



Titled "My Body is Special"- the sexual abuse prevention curriculum is still being taught in GDOE classrooms today.

Covering a variety of topics, and offered in health classes, Stacey Coletta, deputy Superintendent of Assessment and Accountability, says she received training on how to help children spot and report abuse.

"It's used district-wide, again because it's the public law and the public law requires the Guam Department of Education to implement the curriculum," she said. "Sometimes at the younger ages they may not know, and so there's curriculum for instance on good touch-bad touch, and that helps students understand whether or not something is not right, and where's the proper place to go when that happens."


Statistics are alarming. In 2018, 70 percent of reported rape cases in Guam were committed against children.

Coletta says it's hard to say whether or not this curriculum has helped more children come forward, but she believes it arms students with the tools to speak out.

"Talking about sexual assault and sexual abuse is a tough conversation," she said. "Even for parents to talk to our children our own children. But this makes it a whole lot easier because there's a lesson plan, key terms, key ideas. And I think that helps the island community take away some of that discomfort talking about a subject that isn't easy to talk about."

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