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Indianapolis Public Schools and DVN Collaboration Engages Coaches to Discuss Healthy Relationships During Practice

By: Lindsay Stawick, director of programs, DVN

February is teen dating violence awareness month and in addition to our normal healthy relationship classroom curriculum taught throughout the school year, we are excited about a recent partnership with IPS that will help us reach even more students in a different way. Since approving the updated Title IX and Teen Dating Violence policy, IPS is taking concrete steps to make sure students, staff, and parents are educated and participating in prevention and intervention efforts.  One initiative gaining momentum is engaging coaches to talk about healthy and safe relationships with their athletes each week through the Coaching Boys Into Men (male athletes) and Athletes as Leaders (female athletes) programs.

DVN began training sessions with IPS coaches in the fall of 2018, and we are gearing up to train the spring coaches in the coming weeks. Each program utilizes the unique relationship of a coach to teach athletes various components of healthy and safe relationships and how to be leaders during practice and out in the community.  Students often look to coaches for support and guidance, and we are grateful to be able to leverage the natural and positive relationship that is formed between a coach and athlete.

Topics that are covered during Coaching Boys Into Men program:

Personal responsibility, respectful behavior, relationship abuse, insulting language, consent, and many more!

Topics that are covered during Athletes As Leaders sessions:

Gender stereotypes, privilege and oppression, self image, relationship abuse, consent, and many more!

“It’s hard for athletes to open up, but as the season goes on and they understand why you’re trying to do this and what you’re trying to address, they open up more. They talk to each other outside of those short CBIM lessons more than they did before.” – John Blasco, High School Basketball Coach

“Athletes as Leaders made us great leaders in the school and made the school a better social environment.” – Student Participant

If you would like to bring Coaching Boys Into Men and/or Athletes As Leaders to your school, please reach out to Lindsay, lhill@dvnconnect.org