Peer educators to tackle sexual consent

Peer educators to tackle sexual consent

By David Burt

Staff Reporter Yale Daily News

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This fall, Yale College is launching a new peer education program aimed at teaching students how to identify and prevent sexual misconduct.

The program places three trained, paid students known as communication and consent educators in each residential college, where they will work with masters and deans to develop unique programming, said Melanie Boyd, special advisor to the Yale College dean on gender issues. In addition to holding small events for residential college communities, the student educators — who completed preliminary training Sunday — will eventually present a “risk reduction” workshop to freshmen, lead “bystander intervention” sessions for sophomores and give sexual misconduct education sessions for leaders of registered student organizations.

“These are difficult issues and require frank, thoughtful conversations — the kind of discussions students are often most willing to have with other students,” Boyd said.

The college began accepting applications for the new program in July. The program developed after the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Education and Prevention — which formed after a group of Delta Kappa Epsilon brothers sang offensive chants on Old Campus in October — released a March 2 report recommending that leaders of student organizations attend special training sessions.

The task force made its recommendations just days before 16 Yale students and alumni filed a complaint March 15 with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging that Yale violates Title IX regulations and fosters a sexual climate that is hostile toward women.

Boyd said the Office for Civil Rights investigation of that complaint has “fueled” the University’s development of better sexual misconduct prevention and education programs, but she emphasized that this process was already underway when the investigation began. She added that the creation of the new peer education program exceeds the Office for Civil Rights’s standards.

“What the communication and consent educators are doing is well above what would be required in any kind of Title IX sense,” she said.

Three educators interviewed said the Title IX investigation did not affect their decisions to apply for their new jobs.

Sania Tildon ’12, a communication and consent educator for Branford College, said she provide strategies for leading events that Branford’s dean and freshman counselors might already want to host. Boyd said she hopes the educators will develop creative methods to present information in less serious settings than the usual straightforward discussions about sexual behavior.

The communication and consent educators were initially slated to supervise only two large-scale projects: bystander intervention training for sophomores and sexual misconduct training for leaders of registered student organizations, Boyd said. They were given extra responsibility after several freshman counselors told administrators that they were uncomfortable presenting the risk reduction workshop to freshmen, she added.

“It was not ideal,” Boyd said. “They did not have time to learn the workshop.”

Developing and presenting all three programs in one year would be too much work for the student educators, Boyd said. This year’s peer educators will lead just two of these three events, Boyd said, adding that Yale College has not yet decided which of the three educational elements will have to be delayed until next year. Next year’s educators will host all three events.

Melissa Lucchesi, outreach education coordinator for nonprofit college campus security organization Security On Campus, Inc., said she expects the sessions for registered student groups to have a significant impact on campus culture. She added that universities report strong results when they implement peer education programs.

“By educating everyone across the board, it gets everyone on the same page, and it helps to create solidarity in the community about these issues,” she said.

But when the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct Education and Prevention issued its recommendations in March, 12 of 13 students interviewed said such a requirement was more necessary for some student groups than others.

Wendy Murphy, an adjunct law professor at New England Law School in Boston who has filed Title IX complaints against schools such as Harvard Law School and Princeton University, said she doubts that required educational sessions would substantially improve Yale’s culture.

“My sense of the student reaction to these things is that [they] perceive them as not only a pain in the neck but completely unconnected to this kind of problem,” she said. “The real solution is to have a meaningful, quick and effective response to reports of sexual misconduct. Once that becomes a reality, students should have an appreciation for the values Yale is trying to promote.”

Provost Peter Salovey announced in April the creation of a new University-Wide Committee, a disciplinary body intended to streamline the process of bringing forward complaints of sexual misconduct across Yale’s 13 schools.


In Suburb, Battle Goes Public on Bullying of Gay Students

ANOKA, Minn. — This sprawling suburban school system, much of it within Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district, is caught in the eye of one of the country’s hottest culture wars — how homosexuality should be discussed in the schools.  read more …..


10-15c amended to include gender identity and expression


Sec. 2. (NEW) (

Effective October 1, 2011) As used in sections 4a-60, 8-

169s, 8-265c, 8-294, 8-315, 10-15c, 10-153, 10a-6, 11-24b, 16-245r, 16-247r,


28-15, 31-22p, 31-57e, 32-204, 32-277, 38a-358, 42-125a, 42-125b, 52-571d


and 53-37a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and section


37 of this act, “gender identity or expression” means a person’s genderrelated


identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that genderrelated


identity, appearance or behavior is different from that


traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at


birth, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing


evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or


treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform


assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the


gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core


identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose.


Student Reports of Bullying and Cyber-Bullying: Results From the 2009 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey

see full report

Student Reports of Bullying and Cyber-Bullying: Results From the 2009 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey,


Study reports that bullying affects over 25% of high school students


A new study from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that about a quarter of high school students were bullied at least once during the 2008-2009 school year, and about 7% were  the victims of online bullying (cyberbullying), according U.S. News and World Report. The NCES study also found that 4.1% of students ages 12-18 who were bullied (approximately 289,000 students) admitted bringing a gun, knife, or other weapon to school while  7.4%  of students subjected to cyberbullying admitted bringing a weapon to school.

According to the report, schools rely on a combination of security guards and cameras, staff supervision, and inclusion of anti-bullying measures in student codes of conduct to prevent bullying. Most commonly, students were made fun of or were the subject of rumors. About 5% of high school students reported being threatened with harm, and 6.6% were pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on.

Younger students were more likely to be bullied than upperclassmen. About 36% of middle school students reported being bullied, compared to 25.8% of high school students. Twenty-eight percent of freshmen were bullied at least once during the school year compared to 1 in 5 seniors. High school students were more likely to hide being bullied. Forty-four percent of middle school students reported notifying an adult of bullying; high schoolers notified an adult just over a quarter of the time.

Although fewer students overall reported being bullied online, more of those students responded to bullying: 15% of students who had been cyber bullied got into a physical fight because of the bullying, and 17% avoided certain parts of their schools out of fear.Most commonly, cyberbullying victims said hurtful information about them was spread on the Internet, or they received unwanted contact online or unwanted text messages.

Cyber safety expert Parry Aftab says that although many administrators feel they can’t get involved with virtual bullying that doesn’t occur on school grounds, the Supreme Court’s Tinker v. Des Moines decision in 1969 gives administrators some options. “If administrators have a reasonable suspicion that online actions will have an immediate effect on the kids in the school, they have the ability to discipline it,” she says. “If students are threatening each other online, you’re interrupting their ability to have an education.”

Source: U.S. News and World Report, 8/24/11, By Jason Koebler



Copyright © All Rights Reserved · Green Hope Theme by Sivan & schiy · Proudly powered by WordPress