Does your school teach personal body safety? Erin’s Law was created by Erin Merryn, a victim and survivor of sexual assault. It requires schools PK-12 to educate students with a child abuse prevention program. Erin’s Law has been passed in 37 states and is pending in several others (as of March 2021). To find out if it is a law in your state, click here. There are several different programs for personal body safety that you can use and Erin lists many of them on her website. You can use a full curriculum or different resources. I have outlined my lessons for Erin’s Law and Personal Body Safety below, for use with prek-8. Note: This post contains affiliate links
For early childhood and kindergarten I use a presentation from Guardian Angel Community Services. It includes the story above, examples of safe and unsafe touches, how each touch can make you feel, what to do, who to tell, and practice saying no. It also defines private parts as the parts of our body covered by our swimsuit.
For 1st grade I use a few different books, using the second one as a guide. The first book is a story of a mom explaining to her 2 children that private parts are the parts covered by your swimsuit. She tells her children that no one should touch them there and if they do to tell an adult. The second book is too long to be used as a lesson itself, but can be used as a supplemental guide. It talks about everything from feelings and feeling safe to safe and unsafe secrets.
The book I use for 2nd grade is the first one with more detail. In this book, a boy is told a story about a girl who was tricked into going to a neighbor’s house. When she gets there, she has a bad feeling. The man tries to touch her but she gets away. This is a great way to introduce the idea of gut feelings and if something feels wrong, it probably is.
The book I use for 3rd grade, Mia’s Secret, is similar to the last, but it includes promises. The examples in this story help students understand safe and unsafe secrets and that the abuser can be someone you know and trust. This book isn’t available to purchase right now, but the one above is similar.
For 4th grade I use another book and this amazing and engaging companion from The Responsive Counselor on TpT. This book introduces what abusers may say or how they might try to scare children into keeping things secret. It also continues to build off of the idea that an abuser can be someone you know and trust.
The book I use for 5th grade is a big jump in detail. It talks about secrets and abuse, but this time it mentions more specifics about the abuse. It also expands on the idea that an abuser can be anyone. I don’t have a link for this one because it is part of a program, but the book below works well for 5th grade too.
6th grade is the last grade I use a book with. Depending on your population, the presentation I list next can also work for mature 6th graders. This book is about a boy who feels as though he has been trapped by his abuser. The abuser slowly pushes boundaries, outlining child grooming well with specific examples. In the end he tells an adult to save another boy from abuse.
For 7th and 8th grade I use a presentation I created. It can also work for high school. My presentation moves from talking only about abuse to healthy relationships. In this presentation, I cover what Erin’s Law is, healthy and unhealthy relationships, boundaries, types of abuse, the cycle of abuse, what to do, child grooming, and sexting. The presentation is editable to tailor to your population and features guided notes on every slide. It also includes 2 activities: scenarios and how to respond.
I hope you found these lessons for Erin’s Law and personal body safety helpful! In addition to these resources, I always follow this outline to make sure we cover everything: safe and unsafe touches, safe and unsafe secrets, what to do and who to tell, and remember it’s never your fault. Are there any books or individual resources you would add to the list? I would love to hear about them in the comments!