School Dating Violence Policy

ON MARCH 27, 2003, 15 year-old Ortralla Mosley broke up with her 16 year-old boyfriend, Marcus McTear, both sophomores at Reagan High School in Austin, Texas. The next day, Mosley told teachers that McTear was "becoming increasingly violent with her and that she was worried about her safety." Two hours later, McTear found Mosley in the hallway and killed her with a butcher knife.

Break the Cycle has worked with thousands of youth from around the nation who express the same concern: dating violence happens at school. Often, students who are seeking help get misinformation from a school administrator or teacher, stigmatizing the victim of violence.

Even though studies have shown that nearly a quarter of teens say they would confide in a coach, teacher or school counselor if they were in abusive relationship, only a handful of school districts have taken proactive steps to address teen dating violence.

We Can Improve School Safety

We don't want to lose another young person to dating violence. With more than 40% of teen victims reporting that abuse took place on school grounds, it is imperative for schools to adequately address teen dating violence on and off-campus.

Break the Cycle consults organizations, government agencies and schools on how to have a more comprehensive and collaborative response to dating violence. Through our school policy initiative, we can help you coordinate, develop and implement a comprehensive system of prevention and care for teen victims of dating violence within schools. Break the Cycle can help:

  • Provide school personnel with training and resources to serve young victims of dating violence and hold young perpetrators accountable
  • Develop, adapt and implement model policies and procedures to support middle and high schools in addressing teen dating violence on campus
  • Teach our prevention curriculum to students and implement student-led projects against dating violence
  • Conduct a thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of the new school policies, prevention curriculum and student action campaign in reducing dating violence and changing attitudes

With government and community-based partners, Break the Cycle developed the DC Safe Schools Model Policy. Learn about this ground-breaking policy and the effect it is having on DC schools.

What Can You Do?

Get your school to address teen dating violence in your administrative codes or policy. Schools have an opportunity to impact not only individual victims of dating violence, but to play a significant role in responding to and preventing dating violence. Schools must proactively address this problem by establishing effective policies and procedures. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  1. Ask your principal or school administrator how your school district responds to victims of dating violence.
  2. During a lunch break or administrative time, gather concerned teachers, administrators, school resource officers and youth and brainstorm ways your school/district can make a larger impact on addressing teen dating violence.
  3. Partner with your local legal/advocacy organization that address teen dating violence for resources and development of a school policy.
  4. Contact Break the Cycle to find out more information on developing a policy for your school.

More Information

For more information on our school policy initiative or to receive a consultation, please contact us at [email protected].