During our Behavior Education Plan meetings with students, we have been discussing the policy and ideas around consent. We came up with expectations that have been shared with staff and students, and posted around the school. Those expectations are as follows:
- Always ask someone if it’s okay to touch. “Is it okay if I give you a hug…”
- Always respect a “no”, or a “stop”.
- A “yes” yesterday, doesn’t mean a “yes” today.
- A non-response is an automatic no.
It would be helpful if parents/guardians could also have the conversation around consent and other people’s need for respect around body autonomy, comfort level, and establishing healthy boundaries.
We also discussed what to do if someone continues unwanted behaviors, actions, or attention. We encourage them to set the boundary with the person themselves as a first step. If they are uncomfortable talking to that person or need help with how to approach, they can consult with a trusted adult. If the person continues the behavior, we encourage them to fill out a bullying report form. Those forms are located in the office, or can be completed online.