Primary Educators League

Assisting parents in the eternal vigil of protecting the freedom and holiness of their families.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Catholic Spirit "Safe Environments" Special Report Now Online

The Catholic Spirit has finally posted the articles that ran in the August 17, 2006 special pull-out section on "Safe Environments."

There are three key links:
1) Julie Carroll's article entitled, "Parishes, schools to begin sex abuse prevention, safety programs."

2) Parish and School Curriculum Choices. There are no specifics by parish. We are trying to collect that information and once we have it, we'll post it on The Archdiocese does not intend to publish this information.

This is also the first time that the archdiocese has publicly stated in writing that the "Formation in Christian Chastity" or Harrisburg program is approved by Archbishop Flynn. With no public exposure, the Harrisburg program now has 36 schools using it while "Talking About Touching" has 31 according to The Catholic Spirit (Aug. 17, 2006).

3) Questions and Answers with Sr. Fran Donnelly, Director of the Protection of Children and Youth Initiative for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Sr. Fran addresses the concerns many parents have about this program.

Here's the cached version where Sr. Fran Donnelly confirms that Planned Parenthood endorses "Talking About Touching."

Just for fun, run the following Google search for "Planned Parenthood endorses" and see what you come up with.

Archdiocesan staff has been busy preparing for the launch of the "safe environments" initiative this fall. Pastors, principals, and DREs will be prepared to answer all your questions and concerns. It is expected that every parent will have an opportunity to review the material before their children are taught safe touch.

If you haven't seen the "Talking About Touching" or TAT lessons, or if perhaps you need a refresher after a long summer, please check here.

KidWISE Founder, Paula Statman, to speak at Holy Name of Jesus Sept. 6 at 7pm

Paula Statman, Founder of the KidWISE Institute, will be speaking at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Medina on Wednesday, September 6th at 7pm (see page 4 of the bulletin linked). (Here's a map for the church location). This will be a good opportunity to hear her talk in person about the KidWISE "Safety Fair" for grades K-4 as well as her program, "Out of Harms Way" for the 5th - 8th graders. The Safety Fair is an approved alternative for parishes to use for the "safe environments" curricula. "Out of Harms Way" is the recommended, or default program for the middle schoolers grades 5-8th. For a complete list of the Archdiocese's recommended program see here.

Given all the controversy that has surrounded the "Safe Environments" curricula recommended by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Paula Statman's KidWISE Institute stands to benefit the most financially from the "Safe Environments" initiative in the Twin Cities.

Several of the Primary Educator League leaders have been speaking with priests, principals, and directors of religious education regarding the "safe environment" options. Many have viewed the KidWISE one-day "Safety Fair" as a good option. It doesn't appear to carry the same controversial baggage that the "Talking About Touching" program does and it only takes one day to complete it. They figure they can get this "safe touch" program out of the way in one day.

Many parishes had been under the impression that the KidWISE Institute's "Family Safety Fair" would cover K-12th grades. However, over the summer, it became clear that it was only going to be implemented for grades K-4. That means, parishes, and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will have to purchase two programs from Paula Statman...the KidWISE "Safety Fair" and the "Out of Harms Way."

Holy Name of Jesus in Medina was one of the parishes that was going to be creating a new program with Statman. However, it's unclear at this time as to whether or not that is going to happen. Perhaps we'll learn more on September 6th during her talk.

Monday, August 21, 2006

52 Parishes Approved to Use Formation in Christian Chastity

Archbishop Flynn has approved 52 parishes to use Formation in Christian Chastity (FICC), also known as the Harrisburg, PA program according to The Catholic Spirit, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The Catholic Spirit published a large special pullout section for its August 17th edition. However, that section does not yet appear to be available online. Here are the highlights:

"Talking About Touching":
(preschool and kindergarten): 57 parishes
(grades one through four): 65 parishes
(grades preschool through fourth): 31 schools

"Family Safety Fair" (preschool through fourth grade): 40 parishes, 14 schools

"Out of Harm's Way" (grades five through eight): 80 parishes, 42 schools

"Creating Safe and Sacred Spaces" (grades nine through twelve): 79 parishes, 6 schools

Alternative programs approved by Archbishop Harry Flynn

"Formation in Christian Chastity" (Harrisburg program) 52 parishes, 36 schools (some supplementing with one of recommended programs)

"Diocese of Alexandria Child Protection Catechesis": 4 parishes, 2 schools

Undeclared: 37 parishes, 27 schools
Source: The Catholic Spirit, August 17, 2006

Safe environments programs are to be implemented during the '06-'07 school year. There is not an official breakdown by parish by curriculum chosen, but for a list of parishes using FICC, please see here. The list is not complete but we hope to hear from all the parishes who have received approval so we can add them to the published list.