By Elizabeth Osayande

THE Director, Le Posh School, Ikoyi Lagos, Mrs Ronke Adeniyi, has stated that parents have a great role to play in protecting their children from paedophiles. 

She called schools not to be found wanting in the discharge of their duties too.

Her words: “We have to tackle paedophilia head on from all angles. The families and schools have to be more responsible in safeguarding and equipping children with knowledge.

“As much as I do not like apportioning blame, one cannot help but say that the home is at fault.

“The home is the first nation, smallest unit that makes up society as a whole. The home is that production factory of society. If the homes are getting it wrong then society will suffer.

“We need to screen the content of a number of movies and songs being produced and circulated by artists. A lot are offensive even to adults and have negative influences on our children.”

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Speaking on ways parents can monitor their wards, the founder, Le Posh School listed the following guidelines. Parents need to more present in the lives of their children, generally;  ongoing sexuality education and equipping kids with good reference materials such as books.

These will teach them about their bodies, personal space, stranger danger, boundaries, types of touches, etc.; safeguarding children and not leaving them with people we do not trust especially close family members and friends we could feel are trustworthy.

Others are: Open lines of communication ; No blaming or judging them when it happens which makes others keep the act as a secret; credible and safe reporting lines even when they are being groomed. Educating children about grooming online, Internet safety, setting, etc, asking questions and letting them be free to communicate without judgement; Trust your judgement as a parent or caregiver and tell children to do the same.

On the role, schools should play in the safety of their pupils/students, the school administrator explained that “schools protect children physically in many cases from paedophiles whilst onsite. They have a duty of care, safeguarding and furnishings children with enough information about their security, keeping themselves safe from pedophiles and being responsible citizens.

“Education and the creation of awareness on society about the ills of paedophilia will go a long way in saving many children from being abused. Paedophiles can however be found anyway irrespective of the economic status or level of education of the individuals.” 

While Mrs. Adeniyi reiterated that more awareness on children safety should be ongoing, she called for stiff penalty for children molesters. 

“There should be strict penalties for acts of paedophilia to deter others ploughing that route.

“The sex offender register should be updated regularly and published so these paedophiles are not moving from place to place. A robust database is required and awareness should be ongoing,” she noted.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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