Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky’s Statement on Hazard High School Investigation

Children and youth need an understanding of healthy and respectful relationships, boundaries and body safety. They need role models to look to who portray and promote these values and support healthy childhoods. The physical and mental health of Kentucky’s children, youth and parents is at the forefront of the work we do at Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. While the recent spirit week activities of a Kentucky High School may seem innocent on the surface, the harmful and long-term effects that such conduct may have on the still-forming brains of children and youth must be considered. When something like this takes place, we are teaching youth these behaviors are acceptable. Out of roughly 300 students enrolled in the school, 84 of them (28%) will be sexually victimized prior to their 18th birthday. Our educational institutions are trusted areas where ALL students should be encouraged to reach their full potential, feel comfortable in their surroundings, and most importantly, feel safe with the adults in their lives.