For 2.5, years we’ve traveled to communities across the country engaging educators, parents and most importantly our peers in conversation. Everywhere we’ve been, we’ve seen that open communication and education are key. The moment young people are given the opportunity to talk honestly about rape, shaming, victim blaming, the importance of consent and bystander intervention, is the moment change starts to happen. We’ve seen it…in New York, in California, in North Dakota, in Massachusetts, in Minnesota.
Waiting until college to deem this dialogue “appropriate” is too late. We can’t wait. Students can’t wait. In every high school across the country, young people of all genders are experiencing the negative impacts of rape culture, but they have nowhere to address it. It’s time for that to change.
Consent education is greatly needed at the high school and even the middle school level. Consent education is the silver bullet. Consent education is vital to the health and safety of students. It is the proactive measure that communities’ need to transform rape culture into care culture.
The push begins now and here’s what you can do:
1.) Call and write to your principal and tell them you want consent education at your school.
2.) Call and write to the superintendent of schools and Board of Education and tell them you want consent education.
3.) Call and write your representatives and let them know you want consent education in your state.
4.) Call and write to the Arne Duncan, the US Secretary of Education and tell him you want the federal government to support consent education.
If you don’t know how exactly to make that ask, we completely understand, and we have samples letter available below for you to download and personalize.
Let’s do this together school by school, school district by school district, congressional district by congressional district because students have the right to information.
The one in five girls who will be sexually assaulted by the time she is 18 deserves, at the very least, to know that withholding consent was and is her right, and the violation she suffered not her fault, no matter what she was wearing, what she had to drink, or whatever she may have previously consented to. The time for consent education is now.
We are ready. Students all across the country are ready. And we know you are too.