Last month my six-year-old nephew who’s been living in Kansas for the last 6 months, came to visit for a few days. Do you know what the greatest thing about six-year-olds is…EVERYTHING! Right? Our living-room floor became a smoldering lava pit and dinosaurs drove Lego cars. I wanted to be six again!
For a six-year-old the world is full of wonder and awe. Every day is filled with curiosity and imagination offering a new adventure around every corner! There are woods to explore, trees to climb, balls to throw, forts to be build, pirates to vanquish, and bikes to ride…scraped knees and all. And of course the endless questions. Why this…why that? Why, why, why? And don’t forget the ongoing negotiations over everything from the lunch menu (that you’ll end up finishing), to bedtime curfews and just 5 more minutes…please!
Children live in a world of innocence and trust. And, whether they’re 6 or 16, they DEPEND on us to keep them safe. So what happens then when that trust is breached. What happens when a predator crosses that line and forever changes that child’s life? That gentleman is why Safe Environment Compliance is imperative. That is why Supreme, and this State council are taking such a hard line on this issue!
The July report from the Supreme Office of Youth Protection shows that, of 193 active councils in the Indiana jurisdiction with all the required positions filled, only 60 are fully compliant! Certainly we can do better. I know we can do better. We need to do better. Remember gentlemen, compliance is a Supreme mandate. It is not up for discussion nor is it negotiable. On June 22nd I sent out an email to all District Deputies outlining State goals pertaining to Safe Environment Compliance. As of July 1st non-compliant councils within the jurisdiction have 90 days, that is, until November 1st, to become compliant or lose credit for council activities submitted to the state. The completion of ALL the Praesidium Armatus modules and background checks for all required positions must be completed to receive any Supreme or State Awards, including STAR Council. And remember only four positions in each council MUST be filled and compliant: Grand Knight, Program Director, Family Director, and Community Director.
It is imperative that District Deputies communicate with their Grand Knights and continue to follow-up with them to ensure compliance! I assure you our State Program Director and I will be keeping track as well! ALL information pertaining to Safe Environment Compliance is available on the Supreme website at kofc.org. Please use it! I cannot stress enough…this initiative must be a top priority within the jurisdiction. Because at the end of the day we really are saving lives! For those of you whose councils are already compliant I thank you.