Safer Smarter Kids

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

A new state law passed last year now increases the penalties for failure to report any suspected child abuse. And, a child abuse awareness advocate partnered with child welfare officials to make sure Floridians are aware of the signs in their newly-launched “Don’t Miss the Signs” campaign.

Under a previous state law, only caregivers, like parents and legal guardians, were required to report the abuse of a child under their care. But, now, with a new law that passed and went into effect last year, there are tougher penalties in place to make sure all abuse is reported.

Sascha Cordner

The state launched a new initiative Thursday that educates elementary school about sex abuse prevention. The effort is inspired by sexual abuse survivor Lauren Book, who’s also the creator of the new program called “Safer, Smarter Kids.”

In a kindergarten classroom of Tallahassee’s Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School of Arts, Lauren Book read a book called “Do You Have A Secret?” As she was reading, she continually asked the kids questions as part of the “Safer, Smarter Kids” curriculum.

“Do you think it’s okay to keep an unsafe secret if someone asks you too," asked Book.