Recognizing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence Toolkit

2.1 Teen Dating Violence and Schools

students in thought looking away from each other

Dating violence in adolescence is a pervasive problem that not only impacts individual students but also affects school climate. According to the United States Department of Education, experiencing dating violence is associated with an increase in substance and alcohol use, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.

Schools provide critical behavioral health services and support. When students are socially, emotionally, and mentally well, and they feel safe at school, they can better focus on academic learning. Identifying students who are experiencing dating violence and connecting both the victim and the perpetrator to services and support prevents further academic and emotional deterioration. It can also reduce the risk of experiencing violence later in life, revictimization, and substance use.

Dating violence does not only take place behind closed doors, in private. When we know what to look for, we can identify it taking place in our classrooms, hallways, and homes. In addition to the ethical responsibility of ensuring that our students and children are safe, we also have legal responsibilities. These responsibilities are addressed in the next subsection.

  • Resources

  • Addressing Dating Violence in Public Schools (TASB)
    • The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) created a resource of frequently asked questions regarding dating violence in public schools, and answered questions related to dating violence policy requirements, curriculum and instruction requirements, raising awareness, and responding thoughtfully.
  • A Guide to Addressing Dating Violence in Texas Schools (TxSSC)
    • The Texas School Safety Center created “A Guide to Addressing Dating Violence in Texas Schools” in 2007. This resource provides helpful content related to safety planning for schools and enforcement of protective orders.