Red Flag Green Flag teaches kids to feel safe
Wadena-Deer Creek Kids Club youth participated in the Red Flag Green Flag People program on July 22, where children learned to recognize good and bad kinds of touches.
Sponsored by Wadena City Police Department, the program provides age-appropriate information to children in a non-threatening manner. Through learning the difference between “green flag” and “red flag” touches, children are equipped with the necessary vocabulary to explain their feelings to those identified as “helpers” – such as police officers, parents, teachers, etc. “Green flag touches” are explained as being those that make a child feel good, happy and loved. “Red flag touches” are those that cause a child or person to feel scared, mixed up or unhappy.
WDC High School students Ricky Price, Joey Price, Jennifer Craig and Abby Wegscheid assisted with the program and served as youth mentors. The youth mentors sat on the floor with the young children where they interacted with them about this subject. The WDC Kids Club children who participated ranged from 6 to 12 years old.
“The real credit goes to out to our WDC youth mentors,” said Wadena Police Chief Naomi Plautz. “They stepped up and said ‘yes’ right away when I asked them to do this, taking time out of their work day, and many other plans they had lined up as well. They each remembered having gone through Red Flag Green Flag when they were in third grade here at WDC.”
Chief Plautz said this program was initially started by retired Officer Mike Peters and his loyal adult volunteers Christie Meier and Laureen Huttunen for 20 years.
“The next best thing to a parent teaching their children how to be safe and trust in them is to hear it from an older peer,” added Chief Plautz. “Thanks again Jennifer, Abby, Ricky and Joey. Also a thank you to Kids Club for wanting this taught to their kids.”