Around Tabor’s campus last week, there was a school-wide recognition of Healthy Relationship Week, a first-time program for the school that promoted positive, safe, and healthy relationships between friends, families, and romantic partners.
Right from the get-go at the beginning of the week, the hallways of the school were decorated with posters and signs promoting statistics and information about healthy (or unhealthy) relationships. Between classes, in the bathrooms, or walking up stairwells, students and faculty were able to learn some surprising and important information about signs of unhealthy relationships, ways to get help in the case of an unhealthy relationship, and more.
The week was done in conjunction with a program founded by the One Love Foundation, a nonprofit created to honor Yeardley Love, a former lacrosse player at the University of Virginia who was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend in 2010 just three weeks preceding her graduation. According to its website, the foundation was created to “honor Yeardley Love by bringing an end to Relationship Violence by educating, empowering and activating campus communities in a movement for change.”
The main event held in conjunction with the One Love Foundation was Yards for Yeardley, which brought out nearly 200 people onto Tabor’s turf fields to raise awareness for the cause.
Under the beautiful blue sky and the warmth of the spring sun, students, faculty, and friends ran, walked, biked, and rowed over the span of several hours. Over this time, the community exceeded the goal of accumulating one million meters during the event. The outing was a fun opportunity for people to enjoy the beautiful weather, all while raising awareness for the importance of healthy relationships.
The other event that spurred from the One Love Foundation was the “Escalation Workshop.” This workshop was held on Friday evening and was attended by senior students and some faculty. Tabor was one of just 17 high schools across the country piloting the workshop.
The students and faculty watched a film that depicted an unhealthy relationship and the warning signs of such a relationship, and followed up the viewing with group discussions about the film and how to intervene when early signs are recognized.
This program was led by students and faculty who met on the preceding Monday to preview the film and undergo training to properly lead the group discussions. Though the Friday night program was not mandatory, over 75 percent of the class attended the event.
The main brains behind this initiative were Freshman Class Dean Lauren Millette and two senior students, Joe Feeney and Aurelia Reynolds. The three came up with the idea after having seen it done at colleges, and they spearheaded an effort to involve a group of other faculty and seniors to help organize the events and the week as a whole. Once a solid group was in place to get the project off the ground, the whole school was able to do their part to make the event a success.
Millette found considerable value in the event for the entire community. In an article on Tabor’s website, she said, “Healthy relationship week is designed to define, display, and celebrate healthy relationships and to educate ourselves and empower each other to notice and intervene when unhealthy relationship behaviors may arise.”
For those who participated heavily in the events of the week and even those who watched from afar, the week’s events provided all students and faculty a new perspective on a topic that often is not discussed as frequently as many think it should.
By Jack Gordon