Offers long-term, affordable therapy for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline HOPE For years, sex-education classes in Seattle-area schools have focused on navigating puberty and preventing pregnancy. But recently — especially with the metoo movement — educators like Atkins are putting more focus on consent and sexual assault.
They are tough issues — ones that adults struggle with — like what consent looks or sounds like, and whether consent is possible if someone is intoxicated. Join the conversation The metoo movement has sparked widespread conversations about consent. Where and when did you learn about consent? How do you define it? Should it be taught in school? Now, we want to know your thoughts.
If you would like to contribute, please fill out the form later in the story or click here. But educators and activists say teenagers, and even younger students, need to grapple with those issues, too.
And discussions about them are happening more and more in King County public high schools, especially where health teachers use a locally developed curriculum that has become a national model for how to teach about healthy relationships.
Loading… To prevent sexual violence, educators and activists say, students need to learn about its root causes — like social norms, gender stereotypes and misinformation. The teenagers said men are stereotyped as aggressors who take what they want without asking, while society expects women to do what men tell them to do. Those norms, she said, contribute to a culture where sexual assault is prevalent.
At Garfield, she teaches sexual-health units in health classes, trains coaches to talk to their athletes about sexual violence, and helps guide a newly formed sexual-assault awareness club, which is led by students.
Milliman said students also sometimes ask detailed or personal questions that teachers may not be prepared to answer. Questions about drugs or alcohol come up often, she said. But, students ask, what about if both people have been drinking or using drugs? Does that change things? Milliman also says she guides the discussions beyond the legal aspects of consent. To foster those discussions, Milliman and others often lead students through scenarios, like one Atkins used at the recent Issaquah seminar.
At a party, you see a male friend trying to get an obviously drunk girl to leave with him or go upstairs. What are your options? Is consent possible in this scenario? The teenagers came up with several ideas, like going directly to the male friend and telling him the girl is too drunk, getting someone who is a closer friend to intervene, or, as one girl said to knowing giggles: When Miles Yurk, 16, took a health class at Bellingham High School, the lessons on sexual assault always presented a woman as the victim.
And his class never specifically addressed consent, he said. That puts the onus on the person asking, they say, rather than the person being asked. One thing that has already changed, educators say: Victims of harassment and assault are less afraid to come forward.
And Liberty High senior Hannah Norton, 17, who attended the Issaquah seminar, said consent is something that comes up more often in conversations among students. Due to the number of comments on this story that violated our Terms of Service, the comment thread has been removed.