Parents in the Desert Hot Springs are getting a crash course on keeping their kids safe from potential predators.
This comes after the arrest of a man who also worked as a special education aide at Desert Hot Springs high school.
“We need to have our parents educated, so they can educate and protect their kids,” says Kathy McAdara, Executive Directory from Safehouse of the Desert.
Safety education was the reason Desert Hot Springs officials teamed up with Christopher’s Clubhouse and Safehouse of the Desert.
“Its so important today to remind parents of the social responsibility we have to provide a safe environment for our kids whether its in our schools, in our parks, or in our neighborhoods,” according to Desert Hot Springs Mayor Adam Sanchez
The meeting comes as 43-year old John Yoder is accused of luring kids away from Desert Hot Springs skate parks, modeling contracts.
Authorities say Yoder, along with 2 other men, used the scheme to sexually molest kids and run a child porn ring.
Now officials want to put kids, and parents, on high alert..
Part of the panel, a man who was molested as a boy, who now speaks to parents, providing some insight into the mind of a victim.
Also, a main point of discussion, 3 facts parents need to know about potential child predators.
“There are signs that we can look for as parents and as a community, as providers, as court mandated reporters there are lots of things we all have to work together to make sure this doesn’t keep on happening,” Mika Moulton of Christopher’s Clubhouse.
First: experts say child molesters are experts at deception, and look just like anyone else.
Next, molesters are typically not strangers.
Moulton says 93 percent of predators have a relationship with the victim and their family, “it does happen in our own backyards and our own neighborhoods, and many times in our own homes it’ll be happening.”
Finally, molesters will use deliberate tricks and ploys to gain a child’s trust.
Parents should be aware of the people who are interacting with their kids, in person, and online.
“Parents have to know these things, it’s a whole different world from the one they grew up with, and the internet is an enormous indicator of problems your children may get into,” says McAdara.