But what hasn’t changed is educators’ steadfast commitment to students,” said Van Roekel. “We must work together help more students, more ways, more effectively. Today’s educators need to be alert to the signs of teen dating abuse. The tour will stop in Portland, Ore.; Salem, Ore.; Chicago, Ill.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Boston, Mass. In fact, the threat of outing a partner can be a controlling tactic to trap a victim. “We tend to define abuse in terms of what we know from domestic violence among adults, but it does look different among teenagers,” says Jasmine Uribe, a manager at loveisrespect. Most of what she sees isn’t so sweet. “Generally what I’m seeing are relationships that are pretty unhealthy with few instances of equal partnership and respect.” When lovebirds march lockstep, arm in arm, is the closeness a choice?
Or is it an act of control to isolate a victim from friends? “You can see the partner grab their hand in that way,” says New York college student Trendha Hunter, a member of loveisrespect’s teen advisory board. The campaign has identified four simple yet ambitious goals: successful students, accomplished professionals, dynamic collaboration and empowered school leaders. We all—teachers, education support professionals, students, parents, elected officials and community leaders—are accountable for our children’s success.” A hot topic during the back-to-school tour will be the Common Core State Standards. For Chavarria, this means creating a classroom culture that is open, trusting, positive, and youth-centered. Join your students in clicking through the “Relationship Spectrum” on the loveisrespect website. What contemporary media presents to teens and tweens as “love” today is actually about sex and control.
Regardless of where students live, how much money their parents make—all of our students deserve a fair shot at a promising future—providing this kind of equity in education is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss,” said Van Roekel. ___________________________________________ NEA has developed a comprehensive set of back-to-school educator-tested tips, advice, and resources for educators and parents at www.nea.org/backtoschool. However you approach the issue, it’s important to “be willing to learn from your students,” Colomé says. Of course, Rome Hudson mourns the victim, but she also thinks: “Here’s this guy, and I don’t know what would have helped him, but that’s one I wish I would have gotten to…” But most teen relationships are not violent. Our definition should include not only physical abuse, but also sexual, verbal and emotional, and digital abuses. “It can appear in a lot of different ways,” warns Colomé. “Educators should keep that more holistic view of violence in mind.” Digital abuse may be the most invisible to adults, but it is prevalent among the tech generation. “There is a lot of pressuring for nude pics, or pressure to give up your passwords for all of your social media. At best, we’re talking about students distracted from learning.
Educators have the best experience and expertise to lead and act for student success. Danielle Gindele is a digital peer advocate—the person in the ether who responds when teens text or chat to the loveisrespect hotline. “The most frequent chat I get is somebody unsure about whether their relationship is unhealthy,” says Gindele. The site includes: Educator-tested tips, advice and resources for back to school 5 things to consider when purchasing a backpack for students Preparing for and conducting parent-teacher conferences Common Core Toolkit Back-to-School activity guide The importance of school climate was the theme of the National Education Association’s Bully Free Summit held on Tuesday at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. And that can happen from the youngest grades on up, when we help students understand what a healthy relationship looks like, and know that they deserve that instead. The theme for Teen DV Month 2016 is “Love = Setting Boundaries,” and specific resources around that theme are available on the loveisrespect website, including a Love Is Respect guide and information about February webinars and Twitter chats. All students have to pass the same state test—the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills—as the students from comprehensive high schools.
Years ago, as a high school student, she was abused by her boyfriend. “In my case, I was an athlete, and a singer, and I did well in school, and I think he was attracted to that at first… but when you’re a high schooler and you’re not mature, or you don’t grow up in an environment where women are powerful and strong and those are good qualities, you start to feel weak. Students and teachers face unprecedented challenges from larger classes to shrinking programs to implementing the new standards. It reveals different dating scenarios—“your partner randomly stops by your job, even though you told them it makes you uncomfortable”— and asks students to choose whether the scenario indicates a healthy, unhealthy, or abusive relationship. At worst, we’re remembering the teen who retired Ohio teacher Deloris Rome Hudson will never forget: The one strangled to death by her boyfriend, one month before her high school graduation. That’s what keeps us here. Van Roekel will also draw attention to the many challenges educators and students are facing as they return to school, including ongoing cuts to education funding, implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the fight for pre-K and full-day kindergarten and efforts by politicians to strip collective bargaining from workers. “This fall’s landscape is radically different. Often, from our perspective, these hot and heavy love affairs are like fireworks.
And then when things don’t go well, there’s all the put downs on Facebook,” says Hunter. They need to see how their education connects directly to a potential career. Learning how to develop and maintain positive relationships is part of the social and emotional learning that keeps us all safe and happy—and leads to academic success. This is not to say that the school graduates and sends them out into the world without any direction or guidance toward some sort of post-secondary school education or training. Most dwell in the broad expanse between good and vicious: the land of the unhealthy relationship. One in three U.S. adolescents say they’ve experienced some kind of abuse—physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal—in their romantic relationships, and one out of 10 have been purposefully hit, slapped, or physically hurt by their boyfriend or girlfriend, according to data collected by Break the Cycle and its youth-oriented project, loveisrespect.org. For these students especially, a career/technical component is essential.
And Meek’s academic standards remain high. NEA’s “Raise Your Hand for Public Education” is a national initiative that aims to supercharge the drive for public education and student success. It’s much bigger than that,” explains Saporito. “We feel like we’re making a real impact on students’ lives. Bradshaw, deputy director of the center, also facilitated the NEA summit. “School climate is a significant predictor of student success,” says Bradshaw. “We really need to promote safe, supportive learning environments…so that our students can focus on their academics and not be distracted by bullying…NEA [and its members] are critical to the homework market process, which is why it’s so important for the organization to be leading this conversation.” The research brief, which is being distributed to educators nationwide, defines school climate, explains its importance, offers strategies for measuring it, and provides schools with ideas to improve their own climate, like gauging perceptions of school climate through surveys of students, educators and parents, and by involving all members of the school community in developing programs to improve the safety and connectedness of the school. It’s a game-changer.” This isn’t just a professional issue for Chavarria.
We feel less part of an industrial schooling system and more of a school that is trying to identify what kids need and help them get those needs met as much as possible.” “Our budget will be put under the microscope again and that’s always a bit scary and some in the district may question the validity of the program,” says Taramasso. “But we’re still doing a lot of great things here. This is not 1975 or 1989, or even 2001. Constant texting, like hundreds of times a day, to ask, “Where are you? Who are you with?” is not uncommon. “Technological abuse is power control through digital means,” says Uribe. “People usually think of texting and social media, but it can go further. The importance of this issue is why dozens of NEA members participated in a workshop, led by Sarah Colomé of Break the Cycle, at the NEA Joint Conference on Concerns of Women and Minorities last year. “You have this unique and powerful connection to students that not a lot of other adults do,” Colomé says. “An educator can be the guide to recognition of self-worth, and recognition of the resources that are available.” The Signs of Teen Dating Abuse Standing in the doorway to her Wilde Lake High School classroom, Erika Chavarria observes the interactions among teenagers in the halls. It’s personal. This adds up to 1.5 million high school students last year alone.
But stopping abuse isn’t enough. Most schools just don’t have the space for it.” But that kind of social and emotional learning is what prevents abuse, and makes it possible for students to learn how to develop and maintain positive relationships into adulthood. As students and teachers head back to school, the National Education Association will join them on its annual “Back to School Tour.” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel will crisscross the country September 9 to 13 to raise awareness about the organization’s bold new initiative to further strengthen public education through the power of its members. Right? Wrong. NEA was fully engaged in the development of CCSS and has partnered with its affiliates to ensure educators’ voices are heard and their expertise is used to develop relevant and engaging instructional materials as well as the best assessments possible. And even as the vocational program has been pared down over the years—the school has lost its marketing, health, and culinary vocations—its program remains challenging and vigorous.
As strong as the new standards are, they won’t be effective unless educators have been properly trained in how to integrate them into their classrooms and parents truly understand their intent. “It’s now up to parents, educators, elected leaders and others in communities across the nation to make sure states get Common Core right for their students. If you have to ask the question…the answer is likely yes, but Gindele puts it this way: “Listen to your gut.” The problem is, she says, “Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of education for young people on what a healthy relationship looks like. Think about GPS locating apps.” The Spectrum of Teen Dating Last year, Chavarria had a student—“a stunningly beautiful girl, intelligent and athletic”—who was shoved to the ground by her boyfriend during soccer practice. Rumors of sex tape! Or, turn on the radio: Hear Justin Bieber crooning to his “prize possession.” Add in 24/7 access to hand-held technology, including apps that geo-track a sweetheart’s every move, and it is no wonder that nearly 20,000 13- to 17-year-olds reached out to the loveisrespect hotline last year. Instead of being proud of your partner, you start to feel like you have to break her down.” It took the intervention of an adult friend to convince Chavarria to help her see her self-worth, get a restraining order, and end the relationship. “Knowing that I had her, and how that helped me get away, makes me so motivated to be that person for my students,” she says. NEA also released a research brief at the summit, “The Importance of School Climate,” which was produced by Lindsey O’Brennan and Catherine Bradshaw of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.
Chavarria was called to intervene, and she offered not just a listening ear but also a physical barrier between the exes during class changes. It’s actually a pretty amazing place to be.” See Also: What’s Her Number? Zip Codes Tell Us A Lot About Public School Quality Schools Bring Healing to Communities Hit by Disaster Adults coo about puppy love, or shrug at the infatuations of teenagers. More in-depth is loveisrespect’s “Start Talking” curriculum, which is co-facilitated by educators and students in ten 40-minute sessions. “The most effective and sustainable way to make change is to adopt a curriculum and mandate its use,” says Uribe. The foundation of the campaign rests on the strong belief that educators – not politicians or self-proclaimed “reform” experts – know what works. Deloris Rome Hudson’s experience is even more haunting: She remembers a popular girl who was dominated by her drop-out boyfriend, and then strangled.
Also important to keep in mind: same-sex relationships are not immune from abuse. And this month is the perfect time to get educated: February is Teen Dating Violence (DV) Awareness Month. Erika Chavarria (Photo: Philippe Nobile) Consider that kiss by the lockers: Sign of affection or statement of ownership? “In high school, all the time, there’d be boyfriends making their girlfriends skip class to make out in front of the lockers, or making them make out in front of their friends,” says Hunter. Skipped classes, missed homework, and lagging grades are warning signs to take to a school counselor. “You see people whose grades go down because there’s this whole, ‘Oh, no, you’re not going to do homework with me!’” says Hunter. “The partner thinks your free time is theirs.” Advocates also point out it’s not always a story of boy abuses girl. “Females are just as clingy and abusive as men,” says Hunter. Resources are available for educators who want to establish the importance of healthy relationships. Top Photo: Associated Press She connects her Spanish curriculum to real-life issues and relies on restorative practices, like classroom circles. “We have created such an amazing environment of trust,” she says. “(The circle) is a 15-minute investment of time that is so worth it.
Many more teens are in relationships that, if not exactly like Rihanna and Chris Brown, are nonetheless unequal and unhealthy with one partner dominating the other. “Who are you texting? Let me see your phone,” mimics Maryland high school teacher Erika Chavarria. Flip through a People mag: See 17-year-old Kardashian sib Kylie Jenner pairing up with 25-year-old rapper Tyga. They flame and then harmlessly fizzle. The summit brought together researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and other key education stakeholders to discuss and frame the critical role that school climate plays in the prevention of bullying. “Everyone in a school community—principals, teachers, counselors, office staff, custodians, food service workers and bus drivers…everyone who comes in contact with students needs to be involved in creating a safe school climate,” says NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. We equally need to prevent it.
While it may not be a standard 4-year program, the staff emphasizes that a high school diploma is insufficient in today’s economy, which is why the career tech program is connected to local community colleges, where Meek students can earn credits. “Generally, the country needs to review how we perceive education and not through this narrow vision of college.