By Abigail Rogers
As the school year begins, old friendships are renewed and new relationships are formed, which means it’s important to reflect on what we have learned about the importance and essence of healthy relationships. In September Ms. Lawton’s Health II class created posters demonstrating what a healthy interpersonal relationship is and how it can be achieved.
Ms. Lawton’s bulletin board which displayed these posters included a Dating Bill of Rights, which emphasized the 13 guidelines to a healthy relationship. This included some well-known ones such as the right to not be abused physically, emotionally, or sexually and the right to be treated with respect. But it also included other items such as the right to have friends of one’s own, to enjoy private time, and to be able to accept a gift without having to give anything in return. These guidelines are important because they establish a sense of mutual happiness, security, and accountability in all relationships.
Alongside this poster were two wheels that illustrated important aspects of a healthy relationship. These included communication, loyalty and equality. In her class, Ms. Lawton proved equality is a crucial part of healthy relationships as equality will lead to respect, compromise, and trust as both individuals feel safe around each other. If someone does not feel safe in their relationship, help can be received through guidance, teachers, administration, or any trusted adult.
More schools across the country are adding discussion of healthy relationships into their curriculum as abusive and unhealthy relationships are being brought to light. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “26% of women and 15% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 18.”
Ms. Lawton stressed to her health class that the Dating Bill of Rights is not a guideline to romantic relationships specifically, but to all relationships one will encounter. Relationships with families should include communication, honesty, and the right to have personal hobbies. Relationships with friends and acquaintances should be based on equality, respect, and support.
Although this topic may appear as insignificant to some, the goal is to reach those that need to see it. Frontier Regional High School is increasing its ability to become a place of safety where anyone will feel welcomed with open arms and understand that someone, students or faculty, will be there in a time of need.
It can be difficult to know if one is in an unhealthy relationship and these guidelines are meant to understand what everyone is entitled to. Everyone deserves to have a relationship that is filled with safety, trust, and pure happiness.