Image via Jose F. Moreno, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The school’s project lead, Al Vernacchio.
Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood has received a $250,000 grant for the “Healthy Relationships and Consent Education” project that will teach students about consent, writes Ronnie Polaneczky for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
However, the project’s lead, Al Vernacchio, the school’s sexuality educator, does not plan on restricting his teaching to the need for mutual consent in intimate encounters. He hopes to expand the multi-year project and broaden the notion of consent to be something necessary each time we interact with another person’s property, body, or reputation.
The aim is to ensure that students consider everyone’s boundaries and agency through all interpersonal interactions.
Vernacchio, who is also the author of For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Teens About Sexuality, Values, and Health, hopes that students will carry these lessons right into adulthood.
“This is something I’ve wanted to work on for a long time; consent is about so much more than sexual consent,” he said. “A student shouldn’t expect to use another person’s phone without asking, for example, or grabbing a pencil out of their backpack.”
He now hopes that the program will expand to other schools over time, including higher education.
Read more about the project at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.