May 25 is annually recognized as National Missing Children’s Day. President Ronald Reagan originally established the proclamation in 1983 to honor the efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals who protect children and to encourage all of us to make child safety a priority. Locally, there are many upstanding organizations and individuals focused on protecting our children who deserve to be recognized and applauded on this important upcoming day; one of which is the Commission on Missing & Exploited Children, also known as COMEC.
Established in 1984, COMEC is a nonprofit focused on safeguarding our children from child predators, abductors, drug dealers, gangs and any person who might seek to harm or exploit them. The organization collaborates with a number of community partners, including the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County and the Memphis Police Department, and offers a number of important services, including safety education for children, counseling, child identification programs, distribution of finger printing kits for youth, and technical assistance to parents, law enforcement, and other organizations. Over the years, thousands of children and families have benefited from their prevention and intervention services.
One of their newest community service offerings are FREE presentations focused on how to identify, prevent, and handle bullying. Statistics reveal that nearly a third of juvenile arrests are due to violence; and the incidents go from first grade all the way up through a child’s senior year in high school and adult life. The more we can help, equip, and educate children about bullying and can teach them to better get along, the more we can reduce the violence that occurs in these situations.
Sadly, bullying is happening every day in our city and nation. It’s more than punching or shoving someone physically, it’s emotionally scarring an individual by spreading bad rumors, teasing in a mean way, keeping that person out of a group, or getting others to “gang up” on him or her. COMEC covers this, as well as Cyber Bullying, in the presentation, and then offers helpful tips on what to do, what not to do – like trying not to show anger or fear since that’s what bullies feed off of – and how to avoid situations that might lead to trouble. The more children and adults we can empower with this information, the stronger and better our community will be, and the more positive and productive our relationships and lives will be, as well.
So, take advantage of COMEC’s FREE educational and prevention-orientated presentation for your school, church, professional group, or nonprofit. Help children and parents better understand the effects of bullying and how to properly handle it. Book your free presentation by visiting comec.org.