VIRTUS - Protecting God's Children
As part of the curriculum of the St. Kevin Religious Education Program, one class is dedicated every year to teaching 2 lessons as part of the Virtus Program.
The Virtus Program implemented is the "Protecting God's Children - Teaching Safety" Program. This program is provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and is mandated in all parishes and schools in the Archdiocese of Miami, as well as in many other dioceses throughout the United States.
“The Church has always affirmed that parents have the duty and the right to be the first and the principal educators of their children.” This statement from The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality is the core principle upon which the program Teaching Safety is founded and designed.
This right of parents to educate their children, particularly in the area of morals, values, and human sexuality, is also recognized by the Church as “an educational duty.”
The job of ensuring children’s safety is a monumental undertaking. In this effort, the Church provides for collaboration between parents and competent educators. The role of catechists is to assist and supplement the work of parents.
The Teaching Safety and Protecting God’s Children programs are not sex education and they are not intended to be a substitute for the responsibility of parents in educating their children in the area of human sexuality and love. Rather, through these programs, catechists and youth ministers become partners with the parents in assuring that all God’s children have the tools they need to protect themselves and to resist the overtures of persons in the community who want to prey on them.
Teaching children to protect themselves is part of a mandate adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishops in June 2002.
PROTECTING GOD'S CHILDREN HANDBOOK
At the time of registration, part of the "Requirements and Commitment Statement" that the parents must sign is agreeing to abide by the guidelines in the "Protecting God's Children - Teaching Touching Safety" handbook. Parents also agree to use it as a guide in helping their child(ren) understand and learn techniques and ways to keep themselves and others safe.
You can download a copy of the "Teaching Safety Handbook" using the links on the right:
All of our catechists have undergone a mandatory 3-hour session on Virtus, and thus, are able to teach the Virtus Lessons to their classes once per catechetical year.