Action Tips: Write a Letter to Get a Teen Dating Abuse Curriculum in Your School

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We know, you've probably heard this a bazillion times from teachers, websites, and anyone who hears you complain about something: "Why don't you write a letter?" So now we are saying it too: WRITE A LETTER! Officials will listen.

People are so reliant on their computers these days, we often forget how nice it is to get a personal, hand-written letter from a friend or pen pal. A "snail-mail" letter gives you a chance to tell any politician or elected official what you think is important. The truth is that 90% of the time adults make all the decisions in your life. Break that cycle and tell them what you're thinking.

The Who

Figure out who should get your letter. You can contact your local school board’s superintendent, your headmaster, or whoever sets the curriculum for your school.

  • If you attend public school, first find your state’s website and then click on your school district to find your Superintendent’s name and contact information.
  • You can also ask your school secretary for the superintendent’s name and office address.
  • If you attend a private school, log on to your school website to find the Principal’s contact information.
  • If you attend a non-public school without a school board, ask if and when you can personally deliver your letter to the principal or headmaster.
  • If you’re Canadian, click here to find the Minister of Education in your territory.

The Material

Do It!

  • A short direct letter is powerful. Officials don't have a lot of time, if it's longer, they may not get the message.
  • If you decide to handwrite your letter, make sure your writing is neat and legible. If other people can’t read your writing, then they won’t read your letter.
  • Address them in a respectable way!
  • Be polite; don’t be too aggressive.
  • Request a response.
  • Include your name, address, and ways to contact you (phone number, email) on the letter AND the envelope.
  • Be really specific with your concerns and requests. Educators have a lot of things to include in learning, but if you present clearly, then it'll be easier for them to take action to resolve it.
  • Keep in mind that facts carry a lot more weight than reasons such as "because it’s bad" or "because I like it." So include some compelling facts that you’ve researched about Teen Dating Abuse.
  • Thank them for their time and acting on your behalf.

Passion is Contagious.

Follow the basic structure rules of a formal letter, but make the letter yours. The more genuinely and passionately you write the more effective your message will be.


SAMPLE LETTER

Superintendent [Insert First and Last Name]

[Insert Superintendent Address]
RE: Teaching Teen Dating Abuse in Our School System

Dear Superintendent [Insert Superintendent Last Name],

I am a student at  ___ School, and I am writing as a citizen who is concerned about my generation's education.

I understand firsthand the importance of a well-rounded education. A quality education is the primary means of preparing young people to succeed in the business world but also in life. I feel that the inclusion of Teen Dating Abuse awareness in my school curriculum will act as a vital part of my preparation for the present and future.

1 in 3 teens have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. Some facts teens need to know include:

  • Only 33% of teens who are in an abusive relationship tell anyone about it.
  • Dating violence is the leading cause of injury to young women.
  • Dating Abuse can have severe psychological effects, including anxiety, inability to concentrate, and suicidal behavior.

While you may have heard of these study findings, many teens are still unaware of this widespread issue. It is for this reason that I hope you incorporate Teen Dating Abuse education in school curriculum. Specifically, I ask that you:

  1. Introduce a Teen Dating Abuse program within Health class, Language Arts, or a special seminar.
  2. Focus on Teen Dating Abuse facts and statistics as well as goals students can set to prevent future abuse.

Thank you for considering this important matter. I hope you can count on your support


Sincerely,

(your handwritten signature)

[Your First and Last Name]