BHS to Provide Consent Education, Despite COVID Regulations — Berkeley High Jacket


In February 2020, a whole bunch of Berkeley High School (BHS) college students walked out in protest of rape tradition and sexual assault at BHS. Several calls for had been made, together with implementing consent schooling for all Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) college students starting within the sixth grade, and instating workers coaching for administration of sexual hurt. 

Now, BHS’s administration is making efforts to confront these points once more, however COVID-19 has been presenting challenges. 

For consent schooling particularly, the varsity has plans for in-person academic assemblies this yr, in accordance to Dean of Students Claudia Gonzalez. 

Receiving particular permission from Superintendent Brent Stephens to host in-person assemblies, the administration is at present planning to conduct in-person consent schooling assemblies for all grade ranges at BHS in late October and early November. Title IX workers coaching can be scheduled to happen in the course of the skilled growth day on October 11. 

“The process of planning these large in-person gatherings has definitely been impacted by the pandemic and it has caused delays in being able to finalize the plans and logistics,” Gonzalez stated in an e-mail. “We have been planning carefully to adhere to [COVID-19] and safety protocols and we are very excited that these assemblies will be taking place very soon.”

Gonzalez expressed her gratitude in the direction of a number of scholar organizations, together with the Sexual Harm Advisory Committee (SHAC), the Women’s Student Union (WSU), BHS Stop Harassing (BHSSH), and Associated Student Body (ASB) Leadership, which had been instrumental within the strategy of addressing problems with sexual hurt and consent schooling.

Maize Cline, a senior in Academic Choice (AC) and co-president of the WSU, additionally commented on the impression of the pandemic on organizing consent schooling occasions. 

“The assemblies with our guest instructor coming in looked like they weren’t going to be possible because the City of Berkeley wasn’t allowing us to have gatherings that were large at all for a while,” Cline stated. “Our BHS administration lobbied really hard in order for us to get these trainings because we know that it is necessary.”

Cline added that the WSU hosted its personal Title IX workshop on September 27 on the Aurora Theater, led by Alexandra Brodsky, a lawyer from Public Justice. 

The BUSD School Board additionally authorised forty thousand {dollars} of funding for Coaching Boys Into Men, a consent schooling program for athletes, at its September 8 assembly. Rebecca Levenson, an grownup advisor for BHS Stop Harassing, praised this resolution. 

While acknowledging that some progress has been made, Levenson additionally emphasised that a lot work nonetheless wants to be carried out, notably with respect to workers coaching.

“Have the issues been met fully? Absolutely not,” Levenson stated. “There are complaints that will be coming forward later this month, that are all about students’ awful experiences trying to report or when administrators are interviewing them.”

Levenson characterised the administration’s response to college students who’ve skilled sexual hurt as “awful,” describing how college students have had to inform their story a number of instances to a number of totally different adults, which might power survivors to relive trauma. She stated that directors usually reply bureaucratically, stating that the scholars want to fill out a report.

“BUSD desperately needs a trained social worker to make sure that the first stop, in terms of how someone is received after being harmed, is trauma-informed and kind,” Levenson stated. “What they need is warmth and compassion.”