Morcombes protect Bundy students with cautious message
BRUCE and Denise Morcombe found a balance in teaching Bundaberg students how to protect themselves, without frightening them.
They attended the ‘Day 4 Daniel’ event hosted by Bundaberg police at the PCYC on Wednesday, speaking to students from seven local schools.
Day 4 Daniel is held on Friday, October 25, but the Bundaberg event was timed with National Child Protection Week.
“When you see the kids learning and doing things, you know you can get up tomorrow and do it again,” Mrs Morcombe said.
“You don’t want to scare them either. Bruce always, when he brings up Daniel, says ‘he got into a situation that he couldn’t control’, but we don’t say what happened.
“We say he got into a situation and he didn’t know how to react. He wasn’t able to report.”
Mr Morcombe said making students uneasy was not the effective way of teaching.
The content had to be relatable, but the old messages were still relevant even with advancing technology.
“Very often I say if you go looking for trouble, you’re going to find it, and you won’t like it, but sometimes in life, like Daniel and like you guys, you’re doing the right thing, and trouble wants to find you, in the real world or the online world,” Mr Morcombe said.
Attending St Josephs student Sophie Van Iren said she learned the important three key words “recognise, react, and report” from the Morcombes.
She said she learned a lot because “they gave us lots of reasons”.
Student Liliana Brillante said she learned not to trust people online, because what they say might not be true.
Brayden Corocher said he learned how to react to threats.
“I learned how to keep myself safe and how to do something when I think something bad is happening,” he said.
Queensland Police Acting Superintendent Pat Swindells said the message the Morcombes shared made a difference to local child safety, by teaching them the key words; recognise, react, report.
“There’s not a child here that hasn’t heard the Morcombe story,” he said.
On behalf of the Bundaberg Patrol Group, Acting Superintendent Swindells presented a certificate of appreciation to the Morcombes for their work.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation will broadcast its ‘Biggest Child Safety Lesson’ on Thursday, for students from Year 4 to 6.
The Morcombes invited local schools to be part of the broadcast, which could be accessed from the foundation’s website.