On Wednesday, April 12, Ned E. Williams Elementary is hosting an event featuring musical entertainment, guest speakers, and a balloon release.

Local groups 'go blue' to help prevent child abuse

Fri Mar 10, 2017

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and this year Longview ISD, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, East Texas CASA, Buckner Child & Family Services and the Martin House Children's Advocacy Center have partnered to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect in Gregg County.

On Wednesday, April 12, Ned E. Williams Elementary is hosting an event featuring musical entertainment, guest speakers, and a balloon release.

At the close of the event a group of students will release blue balloons in honor of all of the children in Gregg County who have experienced abuse and neglect, and white balloons for the children lost this year due to abuse.

Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said the district is honored to be a partner in community outreach event like Go Blue Day.

"We believe strongly in serving all the children of our community," he said. "If programs like (Go Blue Day) can help just one more child be saved from an abuse or neglect situation, Longview ISD will certainly support such a worthy cause."

Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month is a time to focus on ways not only to protect children from abusive environments, but most importantly, to prevent abuse from ever occurring. Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect exists in our state at an alarming rate, and it will not go away by simply ignoring it. It's up to each of us to arm ourselves with the facts, to learn the warning signs, and to watch out for our most innocent Texans. Each of us can prevent the children around us from becoming another heartbreaking statistic.

The Blue Ribbon Child Abuse Prevention Campaign had its early beginnings following the death of a very young child.

In the spring of 1989, Bonnie Finney, a grandmother in Virginia, received the devastating news that her beloved grandson had been killed due to injuries inflicted by his own parents. In an expression of grief and outrage, Bonnie did something that ever since has given us a symbol to rally for the cause of child abuse prevention. Bonnie tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her van as a way to remember "the bruised and battered body" of her grandson. Her desire was to alert the community to the tragedy of child abuse. In Bonnie's own words, for "The ribbon serves as a constant reminder to fight for protection of our children."

Soon after Bonnie displayed her blue ribbon, her simple idea was picked up by grassroots organizations across the country. The act of one person thousands of miles away has brought us to where we are today.

During the month of April, please wear a blue ribbon. Put one on your car. Give one to your friends and tell them what it means. You may save a child's life.

For more information contact Michelle Navarrette, LISD Administrative Assistant for Administrative and Pupil Services, at (903) 381-2342.