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…

• Listen
• 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:

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.

Learn more ways to Step Up and Speak Out!

Important Tools

When helping students who may be experiencing violence, you may find these basic tools to be very useful:

Teen Safety Plan

Relationship Wheels