We’ve all seen it or experienced it – an unhealthy relationship in high school. Its almost expected that to some degree every couple or friendship has some sort of issue that results in “drama”. Whether it’s a couple fighting over some messages that were found in an inbox, or a constant power struggle between “best” friends, these relationships can be potentially damaging to not only to the people involved and their future relationships, but also the sanity of those around them. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve heard (or said) “Just dump her already!” or “Talk it out!”. But it’s not always that easy, or that simple.
In the coming weeks, members and staff of Garneau’s Queer-Straight alliance will be visiting grade 11 classrooms to lead period-long workshops on Healthy Relationships, Consent and Body Rights. We’ve all heard “no means no”, and we’re supposed to know what that means, yet consent is still lacking in many relationships. The workshops will help students define a healthy relationship and understand what that looks and feels like, as well as helping students understand the importance of consent when engaging in intimacy. Representatives of QSA will be leading discussions about these concepts in an open and safe way, so that students will have the opportunity to ask questions and share as much or as little as they want. Ms. Nitsou, the organizer behind the Equity workshops last year for the grade 11 students, wanted to shift the focus of these now annual workshops to something that most teens already think about and deal with on a regular basis, and something that needs addressing just as much as equity and discrimination does.
As Ms. Longpre, a QSA staff advisor said: “Anything other than HELL YES is NO!!”