HOUSTON - With Back to School season upon us, teachers are learning a valuable lesson on how to ensure student safety when our children return to the classroom.
In addition to reading, writing and math, this year a new state law makes it mandatory for teachers to receive training on how to look for signs that their students have been sexually abused.
Experts say teachers are the best when it comes to spotting signs of sexual abuse, spending up to eight hours a day with their students.
The facilitators are being trained and will spread out across the Houston area to teach teachers how to respond.
According to experts, sometimes the signs of sexual abuse in children are as simple as a student whose behavior drastically changes.
Tammy Hetmaniak of the Children's Assessment Center said, "Maybe a child makes straight A's and they're failing now, maybe child got excited about relative picking them up but has anxiety attacks."
The Children's Assessment Center and the YMCA are teaming up with a group called Darkness to Light to implement the training and because the city of Houston also sponsors after school programs, Mayor Parker said some city employees will be trained.
"You come with bruises everybody can see that, but the scars from sexual abuse are often inherent but they can be manifested in certain behaviors," said Mayor Parker.
The goal is to eventually train up to 14,000 teachers.
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