Consent-Beyond the Yes and No

As part of our Adolescent Health curriculum, one of the main focuses is on healthy relationships.  This lesson is not limited to one day, as it spans and weaves through a variety of topics that are discussed as part of the curriculum.  We rely on a variety of sources to keep things current, interesting, and factual as we address the topic of healthy relationships.  One of those sources is WISE.  WISE, the Women' s Information Service, is a local organization in Lebanon that offers guidance and resources for those who have been victims of domestic violence.  This wonderful organization also offers programs of prevention to empower young people by sharing skills and knowledge as a means of preventing sexual and domestic violence.

Each year, we invite Celine Guedj,  WISE's Youth Program Director, and educator, Izzy Kotlowitz, to speak to our middle school students about a variety of topics that align with our curriculum.  These topics include, but are not limited to, breaking down gender roles and stereotypes,  components of healthy relationships, and consent.  We have found this program offering incredibly helpful and worthwhile.

Recently, Celine and Izzy joined our seventh grade adolescent health class for a presentation and discussion on consent.  Real-life role-plays and scenarios were presented to allow for students to think about what consent truly is and how to make informed choices about how to keep oneself safe and stay true to their values.  We were thoroughly impressed with our students' level of engagement and participation, as well as their contributions to a serious and meaningful discussion.  We have a lot to be proud of in our students!

We are grateful for the time Celine and Izzy give our school and we feel fortunate that WISE and its many programs continue to be a resource for the Upper Valley.