Make the Connection
Violence and harassment takes a toll on students’ emotional and educational lives. As a teacher or coach, you are in a position to be an ally for teens- a source of support, information, and resources.
Educate yourself. Be a safe person for teens to talk with about these issues. Incorporate dating violence education into your programs. Your active involvement in reaching and teaching teens is a critical first step to ending the violence.
Students need adults to…
• Model openness, trust, cooperation and respect
• Encourage and support the above traits in students
• Make information easily available
• Respect the intelligence of everyone at all times
• Value students’ fears and problems as genuine
• Talk from the heart
• Affirm students’ feelings even if you don’t understand or approve of them
• Provide options and encourage students to come up with their own choices
• Avoid criticism—adult to teen, teen to adult, and teen to teen
• Allow students to change at their own speed
• Avoid judging, lecturing, attitudes of disrespect, or the attitude that a teen is always wrong or at fault
• Acknowledge that students (and adults) are doing the best they can given the information they possess and the thinking they have been allowed to do
• Be prepared with resources if students request or need them, but hold back from rescuing them
Make a Difference
Start with your school and youth organizations:
- Implement the Reaching and Teaching Teens to Stop Violence curriculum in your work with students. Designed for youth and young adults in grades 6-12, the curriculum combines lesson plans, activities, role plays, examples of teen survivors experiences, and valuable resources. Learn more and order the curriculum!
Step up and get involved:
- Create a poster campaign about healthy relationships in your school.
- Create a public service announcement for your community or use the public service announcements from past Step Up Speak Out campaigns.
- Participate in your local domestic violence/sexual assault programs awareness activities. Find the program serving your community.
Speak out and be an active bystander:
- Step up if you see a student or adult treating other students in a disrespectful manner.
- Speak out against inappropriate jokes.
When helping students who may be experiencing violence, you may find these basic tools to be very useful: