A Omaha Public School elementary teacher is charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a 7 year old girl. Gregory Sedlacek is being held without bond and gave authorities a list of other girls he claims to have had sexual contact with while teaching at Sacred Heart School in Omaha and at the Pine Ridge reservation.
The victim in this latest assault was taken to Project Harmony, an organization that offers a number of services under one roof. Executive Director Gene Kleine says, “Kids are typically brought in and we do a forensic interview, a recorded interview that the professionals that need to know what the child is saying is watching that live. We have a medical team to do medical examinations of kids as well. We have advocates that work with families in the aftermath of an event like this. We have mental health counselors in our facility and out in the community we refer families to help them heal.”
Kleine says they see about ten children a week and the majority of them are under the age of six. He says about 65% of them are victims of child sexual assault.
Kleine says, “Kids are very resilient if we can get the systems to respond in the right way. If we can get parents to step in and support so kids see their caregiver as a key supporter and protector. Those are really critical factors in a child’s recovery. With new evidence based treatments that our mental health providers have, the recovery for kids is pretty significant. They can come through these things pretty well.”
Kleine says with the latest assault making headlines, now is a great time for parents to sit down and have an open conversation with their children. Open up a conversation about body safety and what to do if someone touches them inappropriately.
Project Harmony train about 1,200 people that work in schools and professionals that work with children a year. That education includes recognizing signs of abuse or neglect.