Saturday, February 26, 2011

Who is Watching The Kids? Toddler Assaulted at Sea World by Family Friend.

26-year-old man is alleged to have raped a 2-year-old girl at SeaWorld Orlando and saved pictures of the crime on his cell phone.  Michael Grzybowicz has been held without bail in the Brevard County Jail. He is accused of raping the child on Feb. 17 after her mother had asked him to briefly watch the toddler inside the theme park. Pictures of the alleged rape were found on Grzybowicz’ phone and sent to his e-mail account. Records state that four photographs in the phone's memory chip showed the violation of the youngster wearing a diaper and a yellow sun dress while she rode in a dark blue stroller.  Grzybowicz told investigators that he didn't know how the photos got onto his cell phone.  The victim’s mother said the only time she left her daughter with Grzybowicz was when she and her boyfriend went on an amusement ride. The four had spent the day at the amusement park. A warrant indicates Grzybowicz faces charges of sexual battery and lascivious molestation on a child younger than 12.

While this horrific story is about failed parental supervision resulting in a predator's abuse of a child, there are numerous points for consideration for student safety and security. THIS WAS NOT A SCHOOL TRIP.

Points for Consideration:
  • As a parent, do you know the adults that come in contact with your child?
  • As a teacher or educational leader, do you know the adults who come in contact with your students throughout the course of the school day and extracurricular activities?
  • Schools which have Child Development Centers, have special considerations about child safety & security.
  • Volunteers for school trips must be vetted. Just because you think you  "know" someone (as the mother in this story did) doesn't mean that you truly know who they are. 
  • If students see, hear, or expereince something they feel or know is inappropriate do they know who and how to report it?
  • If a student has a drastic change in behavior, what resources do you have available to try to determine if there is a problem?
Sea World issued a statement and takes active steps to protect the safety of all visitors to their park. Ultimately, parents are responsible for the safety and security of their children. Parents and Educational leaders must take a team approach to this critical school preparedness goal.

1 comment:

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