Red Flag Warning Signs

Portrait Of Excited Elementary School Pupils On Playing Field At Break Time

Topic

Red Flag Warning Signs

Overview

All children have the right to be safe. Students will learn how to recognize Red Flag warning signs in interpersonal relationships. Students will gain awareness that seemingly safe and healthy relationships can change into unsafe relationships. Students will learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to access help when needed.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn Red Flag warning signs of healthy and unhealthy friendships.
  • Students will analyze scenarios containing Red Flag warnings.
  • Students will learn how to access help in threatening and/or unsafe situations.

Essential Question(S)

  • Do all children have the right to have safe relationships?
  • What do students need to know about red flag warning signs in friendships to stay healthy and safe?

Content Standards/Benchmarks

National Health Ed. Benchmarks

5.5.2 Analyze when assistance is needed in making a health-related decision.

8.5.1 Express opinions and give accurate information about health issues.

 

National Sex Ed. Benchmarks

CHR.5.CC.1 Describe the characteristics of healthy versus unhealthy relationships among friends and with family members.

CHR.5.AI.1 Identify trusted adults, including parents and caregivers, that students can talk to about relationships.

CHR.5.IC.1 Communicate personal boundaries and demonstrate ways to respect other people’s personal boundaries.

 

Florida Health Ed. Benchmarks

HE.5.B.4.1 Illustrate techniques of effective verbal and nonverbal communication skills to enhance health.

HE.5.B.4.4 Determine ways to ask for assistance to enhance the health of self
and others.

HE.5.B.5.5 Analyze when assistance is needed when making a health-related decision.

HE.5.B.4.2 Discuss refusal skills and negotiation skills that avoid or reduce
health risks.

Kindergarten students sitting on the floor listening to teacher

Vocabulary

  • Red Flag Warning Signs
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Unhealthy Relationship
  • Respect
  • Circle of Safe Adults
  • Trusted Adults
  • Accessing Help

Material List

  • Red Flag Warning Signs Lesson Plan
  • Pocket Template Printables
  • Scenario Keys Printables
  • Scissors and Glue
  • Blank Piece of Paper

 

Estimated Time Frame

30 minutes

Technology Tools

Printer

Lesson Description

  1. Introduce Friendships. (See Lesson Guide)
  2. Introduce the Friendship Red Flags and Warning Signs (See Lesson Guide )
  3. Discuss: Practice Recognizing Red Flag in Friendship (See Lesson Guide )
  4. Activity: Healthy or Unhealthy Friendship? (See Lesson Guide and Printable Activity)
  5. Discuss: How to Get Help (Safety Voice) (See Lesson Guide)
  6. Closing Statements (See Lesson Guide)
Lessons Written In Multicolored Plastic Kids Letters

Lesson Guide

1. Introduce Relationships.

Let your students discuss their answers to the following questions:

    • What is a friend?
    • How do you know if your friendship is a good relationship?
    • What do you think “red flags and warning signs” means?
    • What do you think are red flags and warning signs for friendships that aren’t healthy?

2. Friendship Red Flag Warning Signs

If something makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, that is a red flag. If something seems like it’s not right, or seems wrong for the situation, that is a red flag. If someone asks you to do something that you know is not okay or allowed, that is a red flag.

A red flag is like a red light. It means stop! If you notice a Red Flag, you should stop and think about what is happening, Feel the clues in your body, then decide what to Do.

There can be red flags and warning signs within friendships or peer relationships. Not all friendships are healthy. Not all friendships should continue. Healthy friendships and peer relationships do not contain red flags or make you feel uncomfortable.

Ask students to discuss their answers to the following questions:

  • What do you think “friendship red flags and warning signs” means?
  • There are many possible friendship red flags and warning signs. Can you think of examples of friendship red flags and warning signs?

Give students time to discuss.

A few friendship red flags and warning signs are:

  • Disrespecting or talking down to you
  • Embarrassing you on purpose
  • Not listening to your feelings and concerns
  • Talking about you behind your back
  • Crossing your personal safety boundaries
  • Breaking the rules
  • Asks you to keep uncomfortable secrets
  • Touches you in inappropriate ways

Ask you to lie for them

  • Shares pictures and videos that are uncomfortable
  • Invades your privacy
  • Does not listen when you say no.

Red Flags send clues to our body that tell us we should use our Safety Voice. Healthy relationships do not have red flag warning signs.

3. Practice Recognizing Red Flags

Now that you know a bit more about friendship red flags and warning signs, you can use the Think, Feel, Do method to help you to make safe and smart choices. When facing situations with possible red flags and warning signs, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I think (what is your inner safety voice saying to you)?
  • How do you feel (are you comfortable or uncomfortable)?
  • What should you do (what are your next steps, and do you need to seek help)?

Let’s talk about a few scenarios together. Let’s analyze the red flags and warning signs. Then, let’s apply the Think, Feel, Do method to each scenario.

Scenario #1:

Stacey, Monica, and Lacey are the best of friends. They do everything together. You usually don’t see one of them without the other two. Recently, Monica and Lacey have started hanging out more often and purposefully leaving out Stacey. They have started spreading rumors about Stacey and embarrass Stacey often. Stacey tries to talk to them about how they are making her feel. Sadly, they blow her off and don’t really seem to care. Stacey is still their friend but isn’t feeling very happy around them.

Let your students discuss their answers to the following questions:

In this scenario, does Stacey have a good relationship with her friends? (No)

What are the red flags and warning signs that this isn’t a good friendship? (Leaving Stacey out, spreading rumors, embarrassing her, not caring about her feelings)

What do you think Stacey’s inner voice is telling her?

How does she feel? What should she do?

Scenario #2

Casey and Riley are the best of friends. Lately, Casey has been getting Riley into more and more trouble. Casey tries to copy off of Riley’s test. Riley isn’t comfortable breaking the rules. Casey keeps trying and they get caught. Casey lies and blames it all on Riley. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Riley likes Casey but is questioning his friendship.

Let your students discuss their answers to the following questions:

In this scenario, does Riley have a good relationship with his friend Casey? (No)

What are the red flags and warning signs that this isn’t a good friendship? (Asking him to lie, getting him in trouble, making him uncomfortable)

What do you think Riley’s inner voice is telling him?

How does he feel? What should he do?

Scenario #3

This cool older student named Adam is very friendly towards Kevin. Adam starts spending time at recess with Kevin. He asks Kevin personal questions about himself. Kevin is a little uncomfortable but thinks this might just be Adam’s way of becoming friends. They make a plan to hang out at Adam’s house later.

While gaming, Adam reaches over and touches Kevin in a very inappropriate way (on his thigh, or on his private parts). Kevin is very confused and isn’t sure what is happening. When Kevin leaves, Adam tells him to keep what happened a secret.

In this scenario, does Kevin have a good relationship with his friend Adam? (No)

What are the red flags and warning signs that this isn’t a good friendship? (Feeling confused and uncomfortable, inappropriate touching, secret keeping)

What do you think Kevin’s inner voice is telling him?

How does he feel? What should he do?

4. Healthy or Unhealthy Friendship

Let’s talk a bit more about healthy and unhealthy friendships with this sorting activity. Each group will get sorting pockets and scenario keys.

Preassemble or have students cut, fold, and glue the envelop template to the blank piece of paper. Then, cut apart the scenario keys. Give a copy to each group or give each student their own copy.

We’re going to decide if each of the scenario keys describe healthy friendships or unhealthy friendships. Pay close attention to any red flags and warning signs.

Read the scenario on the key. If it describes a healthy friendship, put it in the pocket labeled “healthy relationship”. If it describes an unhealthy friendship, put it in the pocket labeled “unhealthy friendship”.

Repeat until all keys are sorted. Allow time for discussion as needed.

5. Seek Adult Help

If you experience any Red Flags, you can talk to a trusted grown-up to help you figure out what to do next. This can be someone in your Circle of Safe Adults, or someone from your school like a teacher, guidance counselor, or even the principal.

You may have a lot of different feelings. It may be uncomfortable, embarrassing, or just weird to have to tell a grown-up about something that happened. But be brave and do it!

How do you tell a trusted adult? There are plenty of ways you can tell them.

Let’s come up with a list.

Possible answers are:

Use your Safety Voice and tell your grown-up what happened.

Write a note to your trusted adult and give it to them.

Draw a picture of what happened and show it to your trusted adult.

Send an email to your trusted adult and tell them what is bothering you.

Call your trusted adult and tell them you really need to talk.

Have your best friend tell the teacher that you need to talk.

Ask a friend to go with you to tell a grown-up.

It doesn’t matter which way you tell. All that matters is if you feel like you need help or are experiencing an unhealthy relationship, that you reach out for help.

6. Closing Statement

There are healthy and unhealthy friendships and relationships with peers. Understanding Red Flags helps kids and grown-ups recognize when a healthy relationship has changed to an unhealthy and unsafe relationship. When we see a red flag or warning sign, we can use the Think, Feel, Do method to help us to make safe and smart choices. We can use our safety voices to get a trusted adult for help. Listen to your Inner Safety Voice if you feel confused, uncomfortable, or unsafe, access help from a trusted adult as soon as possible

Keys to Healthy Friendships

Keys to healthy friendship
Keys to healthy friendship_1