I have a lot to say about Larry Nassar and the negligence of USA Gymnastics, MSU and the United States Olympic Committee. I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way.
But before I go any further, I want to take a moment and commend the brave young girls, now women, who are putting a monster away.
They have accomplished what so many grown adults have failed to do over the two decades that the abuse took place.
These women are brave, they are heroes, they are champions.
The crimes that Larry Nassar committed were heinous. USA Gymnastics, Michigan State and the United States Olympic Committee’s negligence is equally as heinous.
Youth sports should be put on notice. The culture must change, and it can change — one program at a time.
That being said, I think it’s important for all parents to understand the policies and procedures we have in place at Mountain Kids to keep our students safe.
At Mountain Kids, we are dedicated to a well-balanced competitive program that values the child first and foremost, where gymnastics is placed near the end of a long list of important values that contribute to building a healthy, safe and supported young athlete.
Here are the policies and procedures we uphold to keep your child safe at Mountain Kids:
- All staff completes Child Abuse Prevention Course through an amazing organization called Darkness to Light.
- Each staff member completes a full state and national background check, which is updated every 2 years.
- Key employees complete Parenting Safe Children Teachers Edition Live Workshops.
- We actively participate and partner with Parenting Safe Children and co-host workshops.
- Our child protection policy is posted on our website, which specifically states that at no time is an instructor allowed to be one-on-one with a student. Contact outside of our facility is strictly prohibited. Contact via email, phone, text, social media is prohibited.
- I have an open door policy, any and all concerns should be brought to me and handled in an efficient and effective manner.
- We actively post educational and informative articles on social media on ways to help protect our children as parents from child sexual abuse.
- We post My Body Safety Rules in the bathrooms at Mountain Kids. These easy-to-understand posters open the conversation between parents and children about appropriate and inappropriate touch and empower children to speak up if something is uncomfortable. When a child speaks up, it is our responsibility to listen.
- We provide ongoing training and education with our staff in all areas of safety, and child abuse prevention is discussed at every meeting. This is the article that was shared and discussed most recently.
- Mountain Kids will be hosting a Parenting Safe Children Workshop this fall to further our community’s understanding of safety and support for our kids.
- All staff at Mountain Kids are mandatory reporters.
Most importantly, your child’s safety is a constant conversation among our faculty. We are always striving to find even better ways to serve our children and their families.
I love the sport of gymnastics — the gymnastics that’s facilitated in a healthy, balanced environment and that teaches invaluable life skills which are far-reaching and impactful for our children.
At Mountain Kids, we will continue striving to always do the very best for each of our students, and encourage them to be the very best version of their individual selves.
Thank you for your continued support and confidence in our program. Your child’s well-being is our top priority, and will always remain so.
If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly.
*Photo courtesy of kxan.com