Throughout the entire month of February, students at John Marshall High School will be putting their messages against Teen Dating Violence out in the open to help bring an end to the issue in our communities.
This is nothing new for the students here, because over the last couple of years this group has stepped up to speak out about these issues. They put together Public Service Announcements which include kids who are involved in extra curricular activities like Cheering and football – the students who might have some kind of impact on their peers.
“As athletes, we feel that we are role models for this school; so we feel that we can get this message out to the rest our age group,” said senior Marisa Tordella.
Statistics show teens are among a group of people who have the highest rate of dating violence, so by educating students are this age, educators feel they’re able to give this group the knowledge to become advocates instead of becoming potential victims.
One student designed these billboards that you’ll see as you’re driving through Marshall County this month. The girl’s and boy’s basketball teams will also host Awareness games this month.
“Having young people do prevention is going to have an immediate impact on their peers, so me talking to students about having healthy relationships, is going to be received a lot differently; than them talking to their friends about having healthy relationships,” said YWCA Teen Dating Violence Prevention advocate Sara Fincham.
The school does all of this through a partnership with the Family Violence Prevention Program at the YWCA Wheeling.
To further instill the crucial message about being respectful of the people our youth date, they offer a program called ‘Coaching Boys into Men’, which teaches young male athletes about having healthy relationships and what is appropriate and what isn’t
“The mere fact that the kids will have in the community and the impact that they will actually be involved in, because it is all from their ideas is a wonderful notion,” said YWCA Family Violence Prevention program director Patricia Flanigan.
Officials with the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program say these billboards to get their message out would not be possible without the generous help of the Karl and Mildred Niekamp Foundation.
The Awareness basketball games will be held on Thursday, February 11th for the girl’s team and on Thursday, February 25th for the boy’s team.