The Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Junior/Senior High School partnered with Oswego County Opportunities’ Services to Aid Families program to bring an important message about healthy relationships to students at the school.
APW Family and Consumer Science teacher Sybil Ruffels and SAF educator Megan Bittel coordinated a week-long interactive program for students where they openly discussed teen dating, age of consent, dating violence and the telltale characteristics of a healthy and an unhealthy relationship.
In addition to this the program also featured a powerful discussion about being a good citizen and the difference between a ‘right’ and a ‘responsibility.’
One of the many interactive exercises coordinated as part of the program was a ‘rights vs. responsibility’ game.
Students discussed the difference between having the privilege to do something and the responsibility to do something.
For example, people have the right to own a household pet such as dog or a cat. With that right comes the responsibility of taking care of the pet – feeding, sheltering, ensuring safety and well-being, etc.
The students played a game where the matched ‘right’ statements with corresponding ‘responsibility’ statements.
The match-ups included things like “I have the right to an education” and “I have the responsibility to learn what is taught to me;” “I have a right to express my feelings and opinions” and “I must allow others to have and express their feelings and opinions;” and “I have the right to make choices” and “I will take responsibility for the result of those choices.”
Understanding rights versus responsibilities segued into discussions about the role of a bystander and importance of taking the role of an active bystander to protect another person’s rights.
Ruffels coordinates the SAF visit each year in conjunction with several curriculum content areas that focus on human development, relationships, community connections, and wellness.