Action Tips: Get Adults to Care About Dating Abuse

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So you know that dating abuse is not joke and should be taken seriously… As a matter of fact, it should be included in your school’s curriculum, right? If the adults don’t get this, it’s your job to make them see it!

Liz Claiborne Inc. has created the Love is Not Abuse curriculum for Health or English/Language Arts classes. It’s a step-by step guide to teaching high school students about the issue dating abuse using literature and poetry. So how do you get this curriculum in your school?

Get the Stuff

You’ll need to approach the people in charge with compelling facts and statistics on dating abuse that will make them realize the depth of the problem and that a curriculum is needed. Here’s what you’ll need:

Get Heard

So who should you approach? A lot of different people decide what your class learns. Try contacting the educator you feel most comfortable talking with.

  • The Teacher: Approach your teacher after class and tell him your idea. If he says administration makes those kinds of decisions, ask for him which one.
  • The Principal/Headmaster: Ask the school secretary if you can schedule a meeting with the administrator in charge of academics.
  • The School Board: Most local school boards have public meetings that allow citizens to request changes in the school system. Ask your school secretary or consult the district website to find out when and where you can present your idea to the school board. If you can’t attend the meeting, try writing a letter to your district’s Superintendent [link here]
  • The State Department of Education: The statewide school board can also help include your material in schools. Write a letter to the President or Superintendent of Schools sharing your idea.
  • Your State Legislature: Let your local congressman know that you mean business and want teen dating abuse to be a priority in your town, county or state.

Get Others Excited

Once you have the educator’s attention, be sure you have a clear idea of why it’s important for your fellow classmates to be taught this. You should include facts, statistics and prevention methods. What else do you think would make your argument more convincing? Mythbusters maybe? Should you include goals and pledges for students? It’s really up to you. The point is that you know exactly what points you want to make before you go before the adults.

Remember:

  • Be confident and relaxed. The educator is there to work with you.
  • Come prepared. Have several ideas and alternatives to include.
  • Have a written presentation to help you out. Include specific points of what you think should be taught and why.

Get an Answer

You probably won’t get the curriculum in the classroom the next day, so be sure to follow up.

  • Ask your teacher when he intends on talking to administration.
  • Talk to your principal the next time you see her.
  • If you wrote a letter, allow three to five weeks to receive a response from the school official. If you don’t receive one, write again.

Don’t give up if an educator doesn’t think it can or should be included in schools. If you don’t get results with one educator, try a different one!