Every week, our Child & Teen Advocates spend a day at Easton High School helping students with counseling and running our new prevention education groups, I Am Her and Spaces. Our main goal is to provide a space space to help both female and male students understand the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. We want them to know how to handle tough situations and what resources are out there for them.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, so we're shining a spotlight on two great students from Easton Area High School. They agreed to chat with our Children's Advocacy Director, Braley Veras, about what they've learned after participating in our Spaces program for male students, in order to help pass the knowledge on to their peers.
Q: Had you ever previously been a part of a program that speaks about relationships in Middle School or High School?
Max: "Nope, they don’t have these types of programs in schools. The only thing I remember is health and that wasn’t interesting. They spoke about nutrition, fitness but never about relationships.
Corey: "I agree with Max, the only class I remember was healthy in 7th grade and I believe I have to take health again in 9th but that is about it.”
Q: How do you feel about that?
Max: "I think that it would be helpful to learn about these things at a younger age, high school is crazy sometimes. There would definitely be less drama in high school if people knew learned about relationships.”
Corey: "I think students do really care but then once they find themselves in relationships, they don’t know what to do. I see it all the time and that has been my way of learning what to do.”
Q: How can you tell a relationship is unhealthy?
Corey: "They just look bad sometimes, I think people try to hide it but if you really pay attention it looks like someone is being manipulated. Students don’t like to admit it but people around them can tell.”
Max: "I usually see the constant arguing about the smallest thing, but the next moment they are happy again. That doesn’t last long because next block, they look like they don’t know each other. I don’t know how that can work honestly.”
Q: As student athletes, can you tell when if one of your teammates in an unhealthy relationship?
Corey: "Of course, you can tell they are not present, and they are all over the place. Sports has been a thing that keeps me focused all the time. A healthy relationship won’t distract you from stuff”.
Max: “They are usually messing up on things that they are really good at, usually we are able to pull them to the side and ask them what is going on, but sometimes unhealthy relationships can be so distracting.”
Q: What advice would you give to students about relationships?
Max: "I would tell them to speak to someone, talk to a friend that you really trust and take it easy. I would also say to find something that can help you stay focused so your mind is not thinking about that all day. Relationships can be complicated.”
Corey: “Breaking up with someone is not easy at all so you have to take your time and make sure that you have all the help you need. Sometimes people just don’t know what to do and when you don’t know you can make mistakes. If you do just keep looking for things that make you happy.”