The basic Respect(Ed) curriculum consists of four presentations, each designed to last one class period. Each presentation covers a different topic: Sexual Harassment and Assault, Consent and Healthy Relationships, Sexuality and Gender, and Normalized Violence and Bystander Intervention. While the presentations can be taught in any order, we recommend the following progression.
Students begin by interrogating their own understandings of sex and attempting to come up with a definition for sexual harassment and sexual assault. When does a harmless joke become harassment? And where is the line between harassment and assault? This is the most technical presentation in the series, with information on how to report harassment/assault and what legal protections are in place for students who have been harassed or assaulted.
Through discussion and interactive scenarios, students develop a working understanding of consent. We use the Planned Parenthood FRIES model as a jumping off point and emphasize that asking for consent is already a natural part of everyday life. Students also explore how consent and open communication are integral to healthy relationships of all kinds. Again through discussion and interactive scenarios, students learn to identify potentially unhealthy or abusive patterns in relationships and develop strategies to resolve them.
Students explore the nature of identity as it applies to sexuality and gender. Peer educators promote knowledge of terminology while also encouraging students to interrogate the relationship between language and identity. Students discuss spectrums, self-identification, and fluidity. Presenters and students alike are empowered (though never pressured) to speak about their own relevant identities and experiences.
Students discuss the way that sexual violence is normalized within their school community and broader society. They apply what they've learned about sexual violence, consent, relationships, and identity to real world situations. Interactive scenarios allow them to develop various strategies for intervening thoughtfully and safely to prevent sexual harassment and assault.
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