September 29, 2017 -
In early February, the Medfield Coalition for Public Education brought an idea to Susan Cowell that involved a workshop regarding Relationship Violence. Susan brought the idea to the administrative team, and we watched the film on which the workshop is based. We decided that this was a perfect opportunity to arm our Seniors with this information as they prepare to enter a world that can be complicated and confusing.
The workshop is the creation of the One Love Foundation, which was created after the death of Yearley Love, who was a senior student and lacrosse player at the University of Virginia when she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, also a senior lacrosse player at UVA. The foundation created a film called, "Escalation", which is 40 minutes long, and shows, in very current and relevant terms, the evolution of a romantic relationship, and demonstrates the warning signs when things turn unhealthy. The film not only focuses on how to avoid specific situations personally, but also clearly delineates the role of friends and family in regard to support and prevention.
Each Senior Advisory teacher was asked to submit two names of students who they felt would be good facilitators, as the OneLove Foundation recommends that the workshop be facilitated by students, and supported by trained adults. I met with each student, and explained the process. On April 3rd, we had a training coordinator from One Love conduct a 90 minute virtual training after the students viewed the film. The students were active participants in the training, and the feedback from the students being trained has been excellent.
All of this leads to our workshop on April 27th. During last block, seniors will view the film, "Escalation" in the auditorium as a whole group. Students will then break into their advisory groups. Each group will have two student facilitators and two adults helping lead discussion that is based on 17 scripted questions that are based on the film. Guidance staff and administration will be on hand to help out, and our training coordinator form One Love, Krista Giuntoli, will be on hand to help as well.
The film is powerful and sad, and demonstrates an unhealthy relationship that starts typically, but progresses to possessiveness, violence, and ultimately, death. Students have been well trained to help lead productive conversation. We suspect that students will process the material and the concepts discussed over several weeks, which is why we are holding this workshop in April rather than later in the year.
We are excited to be able to provide this experience for our students. If you have any questions, please let me know. A link to the One Love Foundation website is below, as well as their resources and referral page.
One Love Homepage
One Love Resources and Referral Page
Students & staff getting trained by Krista Giuntoli from OneLove.
Students watching thought-provoking movie prior to their OneLove training.
Krista Giuntoli from The OneLove Foundation discussing relationship violence with Medfield High seniors.
Student leaders facilitating discussion around warning signs of relationship violence at MHS.