Twister Parent Update & Resources

Dear Twister Families:

On behalf of the staff and leadership team at Twisters, I want to thank you for your continued support during the last week. We are all still in a state of shock, that after all the measures we have in place, including background checks through multiple agencies, finger print screenings, SafeSport training and surveillance cameras throughout our facility, that a despicable person could still make it through our hiring process.  We are devastated and sincerely apologize that this happened. Your support and understanding that we could not possibly know what someone does on their personal computer, and in their own home, means so much to us.

We understand and share in your anger; we are all victims in this. Our kids, parents, and staff are having a very difficult time coping with the aftermath. We feel it’s important, now more than ever, for the Twister family to come together to support one another. We realize it’s difficult, and that our organization has been associated with a sick individual, but we can’t allow this situation to diminish all the great things we have accomplished together as a community for the benefit of our kids. We continue to feel certain that no abuse occurred in our facility due the safety measures we have in place, and that we were and will continue to be able to keep your kids safe. We have remained, and will continue to remain honest, cooperative and transparent throughout this process.

We understand that the path forward toward healing and regaining your trust will not be an easy one. Our antennas are way up and everyone is keeping a watchful eye on the kids – including all you parents, and we want you to know that we welcome this! Parents are always welcome to view any activities occurring in our facilities. We want you to know that if you ever see anything that seems off, even if you think it may be nothing, but your intuition about a situation doesn’t feel right, we want you to say something.  Please, if you see something, say something.  We can never be too careful when it comes to recognizing inappropriate behavior. 

We want the effects of these events to have minimal consequences to the routines and lives of our kids, parents and staff. We’re asking you as parents to continue to be part of the healing process and to work with us to close the wounds caused by former coach Hassan. Below are some helpful resources you can use to talk to your child about safe touch and open communication:

·     https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/advice-and-info/underwear-rule-parents-guide-children-autism.pdf

·     http://summitcounseling.org/blog/prevention-starts-at-home-teaching-children-about-safe-touch/

·     https://childrensmd.org/browse-by-topic/safety/sexual-abuse-prevention-for-children/

·     https://childmind.org/article/10-ways-to-teach-your-child-the-skills-to-prevent-sexual-abuse/

We all hold the responsibility of caring for the kids in the highest regard. Our mission to increase our vigilance will never end and we can never be too protective or too on-guard. Thanks to your feedback and support we will be adding another child safety and abuse prevention course for our staff, in addition to the 3 courses we currently require from USA Gymnastics and the US Center for SafeSport. We also plan to schedule the Parenting Safe Children course with Sun Flower Creative Arts. Once we have the date of the course scheduled, we will be extending the invitation for any interested parents to join us.

I want to thank you once again for all your support, and for going above and beyond to help our entire Twister family get through this crisis. We are confident that we will all emerge stronger and safer by moving forward together. 

In appreciation,
Sara Shugars
Director of Operations

Twister Gymnastics
3100 NW Boca Raton Blvd. #308

Boca Raton, FL. 33431
(561) 750-6001