Work Through Schools
This overview draws on the discussion paper, "Young Men as Allies in Preventing Violence and Abuse: Building Effective Partnerships with Schools," part of the online discussions facilitated by the Family Violence Prevention Fund in 2003. Read the full paper.
From birth, boys are socialized into patterns of identity and behavior that will cause some to be violent toward others and most to be ineffective witnesses to this violence. As a result, violence prevention and education efforts must start early. Schools provide one setting these efforts.
In schools across the country, every day, young men and boys build relationships based on their notion of what it means to be a "real" man. They sometimes put others and themselves at risk and contribute to a variety of devastating public health problems, such as teen dating violence, unplanned teen parenthood, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection. Young men also engage in healthy relationships that are free of violence.
Educators may be surprised by the extent of violence against school-age girls and its effect on what happens in schools. One-fifth of teenage girls are assaulted by a dating partner during adolescence, and 16 to 39 percent of adolescent boys admit to having used violence against a dating partner. Girls who have experienced such violence are more likely to become pregnant as teenagers, to attempt suicide, to use drugs and alcohol, and to have eating disorders. These effects impede students' ability to learn and add untold stress to the already difficult jobs of teachers and administrators.
School violence prevention programs for boys must address their concerns and realities, which center on feelings of blame for the problem, uncertainty about how to act in intimate relationships, misperceptions and myths about peer sexual activity, fears about what other boys will think, and previous experiences as witnesses or victims of violence. Healthy norms in these areas can be encouraged and supported. Prevention strategies that work with young men include developing empathy for victims, understanding consent, empowering bystanders, and reimagining what it means to be male.
Read the following section for more information on working through schools:
Case Studies & Model Programs
Valley District School Board
This case study describes various prevention programs in the Thames Valley School District in Ontario, Canada.
Expect Respect: A School-Based Program Promoting Safe and Healthy Relationships for Youth
[internal link, resources, case studies, expect respect]
This program at SafePlace in Austin, Texas, has been providing school-based services since 1988 in response to requests from school counselors seeking support for girls in abusive dating relationships.
Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools
Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence
The Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools model helps schools design a safe-school plan. The goal of this model is to create and maintain a positive and welcoming school climate - one free of drugs, violence, intimidation, and fear - that the community strongly supports.
Men Can Stop Rape's MOST Clubs (Men of Strength Clubs)
See Men Can Stop Rape's Web site to read more about the group's work with schools in Washington, D.C.
Virginia Best Practices in School-Based Violence Prevention
This is a list of top-10 prevention programs complied by the Virginia Department of Health.
White Ribbon Campaign Education & Action Kit
This kit is designed to introduce students and teachers to a range of issues that surround violence against women, and to help them feel that there are many things they can do to take action.
Gender Violence/Gender Justice: An Interdisciplinary Teaching Guide for Teachers of English, Literature, Social Studies, Psychology, Health, Peer Counseling, and Family and Consumer Sciences (grades 7-12) by Nan D. Stein, Dominic Cappello, 1999
This teaching guide shows how knowledge of gender violence, which includes hazing, sexual harassment, and sexual assault, can be deepened and strengthened by infusing the subject into social studies and humanities courses.
Bullyproof: A Teacher's Guide on Teasing and Bullying for Use with Fourth and Fifth Grade Students by Lisa Sjostrom and Nan D. Stein
Eleven lessons give students the opportunity to explore and determine the fine distinctions between teasing and bullying, and allow them to find their own links between teasing and bullying and, eventually, sexual harassment.
Articles, books, and Web sites that explain and explore issues of working with youth through schools to prevent gender-based violence.
Last modified 2004-10-20 01:47 PM