For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Meg Reggie
Nationally Renowned Children’s Safety Advocates Join
Keep Georgia Safe to Raise Awareness for Anti-Bullying Training
WHAT The award-winning, revolutionary program created to teach children how
to avoid and resist abduction and harm, radKIDS, has successfully
trained thousands of children to avoid and escape bullying, an epidemic
that causes 160,000 children a day to stay home from school, according
to the U.S. Department of Education. Renowned child protection
advocates Ed Smart, Steve Daley and Diena Thompson will be in
Atlanta in February to join Keep Georgia Safe to raise awareness of
radKIDS and its success in child safety and protection.
radKIDS is the nation’s leading personal safety empowerment program
for children ages 5-12 that provides hands-on learning for children on how
to recognize, avoid, resist and escape violence, bullying, abduction and
harm. Keep Georgia Safe, the Georgia non-profit organization dedicated
to child safety and crime prevention, sponsors and facilitates radKIDS
certified instructor training and program implementation into schools and
The radKIDS bullying prevention model curriculum combines self-esteem
building with realistic physical skills to escape bullying violence. A
curriculum that not only stops bullying behaviors, but also empowers
children to stop violence physically when absolutely necessary -- all with
the intent to escape and then report, not hide, the encounter. Current
research indicates that the only effective way to stop a bully is to make
radKIDS is the only nationally certified curriculum that teaches and
empowers children to not only reject bullying in their lives, but to stop
physical violence when necessary. The radKIDS curriculum is the
foundation to changing the ineffective "zero tolerance” policies in our
schools to much more effective and expected policies of "zero
victimization". Our children deserve the right to be safe in their education,
and radKIDS empowers both the children and the educational system to
truly stop the violence and victimization that has reached pandemic
proportion in our schools today. To date, 73 children have used their
radKIDS skills to escape an attempted abduction, and thousands more
have escaped the bullying, abuse and violence in their lives.
Due to Keep Georgia Safe’s efforts, radKIDS programs are currently in
place at six schools and community centers in Georgia.
Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted and miraculously
rescued nine months later, Thompson, mother of seven-year-old Somer
Thompson, who was abducted and killed in 2009, and Daley, founder and
director of radKIDS, are passionately working to educate parents,
educators and lawmakers of the critical importance of proactive child
WHEN: Thursday, February 10 – Sunday, February 13, 2011
HOW: To schedule an interview with Ed Smart, Diena Thompson, Steve Daley
and Keep Georgia Safe founder and chairman Gary Martin Hays or
executive director Mary Ellen Fulkus, please contact Meg Reggie at
404-580-0666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Experts
Ed Smart is the father of Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted on June 5th , 2002, and
miraculously rescued nine months later. Through the loss and return of his daughter, he
passionately sought the passage of the "Amber Alert," for the protection and rescue of
other children. For the benefit of all children, he lobbied Congress and the Senate
tirelessly to prevent further abductions and to rescue missing children.
Ed Smart has become a nationally renowned spokesperson for child protection,
advocating for legislation and non-profit organizations that focus on the prevention and
recovery of missing children. Ed works with and serves on the board of several non-
profit agencies including, the National Child ID program, sponsored by the AFCA
(American Football Coaches Association), radKIDS; and the I Keep Safe program from
the Governors' Spouses Coalition for internet Safety. Ed is also a member of the State of
Utah's Amber Alert committee and a frequent guest speaker for Law Enforcement and
other agencies involved in protecting children from predators.
Stephen M. Daley assumed the responsibilities and duties of the first Executive Director
of radKIDS® after working in the field of law enforcement for more than 20 years.
His diverse educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal
Justice from Bryant College as well as a Masters Degree in Education from Cambridge
College. Steve's Masters Degree included specialized concentrations in Elementary
Education and Accelerated Learning Theories.
Steve is an accomplished trainer and instructor specializing in police officer safety
training, officer survival skills, conflict resolution, and communication skills both on a
national level and for the Mass Criminal Justice Training Council. He is proud to say that
he has trained over 5000 officers during his law enforcement-training career.
While holding virtually every position available in law enforcement from Patrol Officer to
Chief of Police, Steve was successful in achieving most of his career goals but he was
never able to fully reach his true life's goal of helping children to escape violence. In
1999, with the support of his wife, Colleen and son Corey, Steve retired from a
distinguished law enforcement career to become the Executive Director of radKIDS®.
His involvement in the radKIDS® foundational research and development committee
convinced him that the radKIDS® approach to empowering children had the potential to
make a difference in thousands of children's lives. Steve believes that it is not only every
child's right to realistic and empowering safety education, but it is our responsibility as
adults and parents to provide it. radKIDS® is dedicated to providing all communities,
children and parents with the ability to recognize, avoid, resist and escape personal
violence and harm.
Diena Thompson found herself living every parent's worst nightmare when her seven-
year-old daughter went missing on October 19, 2009. Two days later, in a Georgia
landfill, Somer's body was discovered. The community felt an immediate call to action.
Fundraisers were coordinated to aide Diena and her family and the Somer
Thompson Foundation was formed.
A non-profit Foundation was created to assist families who have missing children
because of an apparent abduction and who, after proper investigative vetting, are
determined not to be culpable in the disappearance. Its mission is to provide education
in the form or awareness and prevention to both parents and children to prevent the
tragedy of experiencing the loss of a child. In the event that a child is not safely
returned, emotional support and financial grants are offered by the Foundation.
Gary Martin Hays
As a personal injury and wrongful death attorney, Gary Martin Hays has seen, first-hand,
how unexpected tragedies can devastate a family. He founded Keep Georgia Safe in
2008 to provide safety education and crime prevention training to Georgia’s families. He
has been instrumental in bringing radKIDS to Georgia, as well as training nearly one
hundred law enforcement officials in CART (Child Abduction Response Team).
Hays was awarded Georgia Trial Lawyers Association's Community Service Award in
2007 for his charitable endeavors for the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and Dream House for
Medically Fragile Children. Gary has also served on the Advisory Council for Mothers
Against Drunk Driving in Georgia. He has helped raise over $3.5 million for charities,
given away 1,000 bicycle helmets and 14 college scholarships, and supported numerous
youth sports teams.
Mary Ellen Fulkus
An education and background in teaching and child protection instruction fully prepared
Mary Ellen Fulkus for her post as Executive Director of Keep Georgia Safe, where she
oversees all safety curriculum development and program implementation, media
awareness and the wireless alert network.
Mary Ellen also works as an Independent Consultant within the Criminal Justice
Services Child Protection Training for Fox Valley Technical College, a U.S. Department
of Justice initiative. Mary Ellen is founder of The Safe-T-Net, Inc. a safety and security
training and consulting company for schools, businesses, adults and children.
In March of 2007, Mary Ellen participated in the CART (Child Abduction Response
Team) AMBER Alert Training Conference in Houston, Texas. She is a nationally-
certified rad (Resisting Aggression Defensively) Kids Instructor and a participant in the
Florida Department of Law Enforcement Training Conference on Crimes Against
Children, in Pensacola, Florida.