Students teach awareness about teen dating violence

DURANT, OK-- To most of the student body at Durant High School, she's known as Ms. Bond. But to one group of students, she is a domestic abuse survivor.

"I have a personal history with domestic violence, so I am a survivor of domestic violence myself, so it's something that's touched my life. I use my time in the classroom, basically as an opportunity. Because I'm able to build that rapport with students and it's easy for them to talk to me."

Tascha Bond works closely with DECA, a student marketing association. She and the organization have worked with the Crisis Center and the City of Durant, to get Friday, declared as "Love is Not Abuse Day."

The goal, of the day, is to educate teenagers about the dangers of dating abuse that often includes violence.

In a nationwide survey, 9.8% of high school students reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. Students felt it was necessary to educate the student body on what a healthy relationship looks like.

"What we focused on a lot is how you can't see it happening. Like with teenage relationships, they are so fickle and so fleeting sometimes. It's difficult to pick out warning signs," Hailey Siler, a junior, said.

After learning about dating abuse and what it looks like, Durant High School, Senior, Kanda Jackson, said it's an issue that isn't spoken about enough.

"Domestic violence and teenage violence is a big issue everywhere. It's not just in Texoma, it's not just in Durant, it's everywhere," Jackson explained.

The students wanted to reach more people than just their school, so after signing a dating pledge, they were asked to Tweet and post on Facebook about their promise.

"We are creating a buzz, so things are being talked about more. And things are just being discussed," Bond said.

The DECA organization said even if they just reach one student, their work is well worth the effort.


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