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Erin's Law

 In August 2019, New York State became the 37th state to sign Erin’s Law into legislation.  New York State’s law, (Chapter 187 of the Laws of 2019) - known as Erin's Law - requires public schools to teach child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention classes to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Erin's Law is named for Erin Merryn, an abuse survivor and activist against child sexual abuse who has advocated for similar laws nationwide for over a decade. Erin’s Law is intended to help children, teachers, and parents in New York State schools identify sexual abuse, and to provide awareness, assistance, referral, or resource information for children and families who are victims of child sexual abuse.  In Summer 2020, work was completed with organizations that researched, developed age-appropriate grade bands, and found multiple resources to help school districts develop curriculum and useful lesson plans to implement Erin’s Law. 

The following grade band curricular benchmarks have been developed to help assist schools and districts implement Erin’s Law. Under the following grade band benchmarks are resources for schools and districts. These are suggested resources as all curricular programming and instruction are locally determined.

Guidance for Erin's Law Resources memo

Kindergarten-2nd Grade

Grade Band Objectives

  1. Students will be able to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships.
  2. Students will understand that abuse can occur in any relationship.
  3. Students will understand that their body is theirs and it deserves respect as well as know that some parts of their body are private.
  4. Students will be able to identify and define whether a touch is a “comfortable”, “uncomfortable” or “confusing” touch.
  5. Students will be able to understand how to refuse uncomfortable touches.
  6. Students will be able to comprehend “No, Go and Tell.”
  7. Students will know what keeps them safe when on the Internet; including not sharing personal information.
  8. Students will be able to identify by name two trusted adults who can help with any issues or problems, or identify a safe adult if lost, hurt, or in need of help.
  9. Students will be able to identify the difference between a safe and unsafe secret, when there is an unsafe secret, they must tell a trusted adult.
  10. Students will be able to identify adults that they can trust and talk to about uncomfortable touch or unsafe secrets.
  11. Students will be aware of unknown individuals who claim to know the child or his/her family.
  12. Students will be able to understand that abuse, including exploitation and trafficking, is never the student’s fault.

School level resources can be found here

3rd-4th Grades

Grade Band Objectives

  1. Students will be able to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships.
  2. Students will understand that abuse can occur in any relationship.
  3. Students will be able to identify the bathing suit zone.
  4. Students will have a deeper understanding of “comfortable”, “uncomfortable” or “confusing” touch.
  5. Students will be able to use “No, Go and Tell” to seek help from a trusted adult.
  6. Students will know what keeps them safe when on the Internet; including not sharing personal information.
  7. Students will be able to recognize that their body belongs to them and they have the right to say when and how someone else can touch it.
  8. Students will be able to set personal boundaries and respect the personal boundaries of others.
  9. Students will be able to identify and seek help if unhealthy and unsafe behaviors and situations occur, including bullying and abuse.
  10. Students will be able to quit or refuse to play games involving inappropriate touching.
  11. Students will be able to understand that abuse, including exploitation and trafficking, is never the student’s fault.

School level resources can be found here.

5th-6th Grades

Grade Band Objectives

  1. Students will be able to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships.
  2. Students will understand that abuse can occur in any relationship.
  3. Students will be able to describe and understand healthy and safe personal choices.
  4. Students will be able to identify and seek help if unhealthy and unsafe behaviors and situations occur, including bullying and abuse.
  5. Students will be able to identify safe adults that they can report to when confronted with potentially unhealthy or unsafe situations.
  6. Students will be able to use “No, Go and Tell” to seek help from a trusted adult.
  7. Students will know what keeps them safe when on the Internet; including not sharing personal information.
  8. Students will be able to refuse to go alone to meet online acquaintances/strangers.
  9. Students will understand the basic concept of manipulations and lures.
  10. Students will be able to identify different ways that perpetrators might use “lures”.
  11. Students will be able to understand that abuse, including exploitation and trafficking, is never the student’s fault.

School level resources can be found here.

7th-8th Grades

Grade Band Objectives

  1. Students will be able to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships, including romantic relationships.
  2. Students will understand how to set personal boundaries and limits on relationships and honor the boundaries of others.
  3. Students will understand that abuse can occur in any relationship and understand the various types of manipulations and lures.
  4. Students will understand they can stand up for themselves and say “no” without feeling guilty.
  5. Students will be able to help a friend who is in a potentially abusive situation find a trusted adult.
  6. Students will be able to identify abuse that may occur in person and online: physical, sexual, emotional, and neglect.
  7. Students will identify safe adults and peers or seek professional help such as help/abuse lines, counselors, etc.
  8. Students will understand the risk caused by sending, requesting, and/or sharing inappropriate materials.
  9. Students will be able to understand the importance of keeping personal information private while online.
  10. Students will know what keeps them safe when on the Internet by refusing to post, send, or forward inappropriate images of self or others and know how to set privacy settings on social media.
  11. Students will understand that abuse, exploitation, and trafficking, is never the student’s fault and help is available.

School level resources can be found here.

Resources for Schools and Districts