- Columbus City Schools
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Love is Respect: Columbus Downtown High School Shares Relationship Goals
February 14, 2023 -- Like Valentine’s Day candy, relationships can come in all different styles, shapes, and sizes. Some are loving, fun, honest, and equal. But what about relationships full of descriptions that lean more toward a negative side?
Columbus Downtown High School (CDHS) students spent this Valentine’s Day focused on relationships and how to decide if the relationship they are in is healthy or not.
“One in three teens will be involved in an unhealthy relationship before they reach adulthood,” said School Counselor Leslie Clark-Felder. “Look around at your table. That means one to two of your friends sitting at your table will have this experience.”
During CDHS lunch periods, Felder and her team talked with junior and senior high school students about relationships. Felder passed out Smarties Love Hearts to all students. Each box had a sticker that read “Teen Dating Violence Awareness,” along with a QR code providing valuable information to students regarding teen dating violence. The QR code linked to loveisrespect.org included community resources students can utilize if they fall victim to teen dating violence.
Students scrolled through the website to take a self-guided short survey to see if they were in a healthy or unhealthy relationship.
After taking the survey and absorbing information on the site, students turned to their lunch neighbors for small-table talk discussions. A counselor team member was at each table to help facilitate discussions.
One student said that physical harm, such as putting hands on others or shaking and grabbing someone aggressively to get their attention was an example of an unhealthy relationship.
Many students could describe a physically unhealthy relationship but did not know that an unhealthy relationship could be more than just physical abuse. Felder explained that abuse within a relationship could include power, control, and isolation.
Adult role models in the building described healthy and unhealthy relationships to students, with the overall theme of having respect for others.
“The goal of this day is to raise awareness of healthy relationships and teen dating abuse to our students,” Felder said. “Our goal is to prevent the devastating cycle of abuse which can affect a student's academic, social, emotional, and physical well-being.”