Looking for lesson plans about consent (esp. not touching) for students
December 7, 2018 7:26 AM   Subscribe

I am helping out at my friend’s school in Kathmandu and the teachers are growing concerned with certain boys who seem to think it's okay to put their hands on the girl students. I am looking for lesson plans, tips, ideas for teaching mostly teenage Nepali boys about consent.

The students in the school range in age from about ten to sixteen.

I'm pretty sure it is not groping, but it is still unwanted contact such as boys pushing/shoving young women on the playground.

I told my friend that I would look into finding some lesson plans or good ideas of getting the point across to everyone that their body is theirs—no one else's. And that it is not okay for them to touch others or for others to put their hands on them/invade their space without their consent.

The teacher I spoke with saw the greatest need being getting across the idea that women are to be respected, and while I agree that that is the most important right now, it would be nice if the materials stressed that consent applies to everyone (that no one is allowed to be touched/handled without their consent—girls or boys).

I am thinking of things like worksheets, games, or even simple skits that the children could act out.

In a cursory search, many of the materials I found were focused on consent as it applies to sex, but I feel like right now the boys need a starter version that mainly focuses on the over-arching point that
"It is NOT okay for you to put your hands on your fellow students—be it pushing, shoving, falling on to them, whatever."
I would be thankful for any useful links, tips, or stories about how you dealt with similar problems in a similar age-group.

[Also, as proselytizing is illegal in Nepal, it is important that none of the resources rely on symbols/stories/etc from Christianity]
posted by blueberry to Education (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps the tea == consent video can be adapted?
posted by oceano at 7:50 AM on December 7, 2018 [4 favorites]

There was a cute video posted on reddit the other day where kids chose how they wanted to interact by tapping a picture on a wall. Most kids chose hugs, but handshakes, high fives, and fist bumps are also a thing. You could easily add "words" there as an option, where a kid could choose NO touch and just say hello or goodbye instead.

I like it. It's simple, it's interactive and fun, and is an easy way to get the message across that touching comes with enthusiastic permission from both sides.

Obviously these kids are much younger than the age group you're targeting, but I think it's a great tool, and I bet a teacher who works with older kids could find a creative and appropriate away to adapt it.
posted by phunniemee at 7:56 AM on December 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm sure there are cultural issues that I cannot imagine here, but... is there a discipline plan at this school? Have you literally said to them:
"It is NOT okay for you to put your hands on your fellow students—be it pushing, shoving, falling on to them, whatever."?

Because when I taught middle school, this conversation was fairly common. "You're X years old now. The social rules are changing. You are expected to act more like adults. You need to keep your hands off other students and respect personal space. If you can't do this, expect XYZ consequences." It's also helpful to remind them of the consequences that adults face for similar actions. "What would happen to me if I touched the other teacher this way?"
posted by gnutron at 8:04 AM on December 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

Our kid‘s school does this at elementary school age and it works very well (hardly any unwanted wrestling, pushing etc on the playground even with the littlest ones).

Basically they lay out ‚my body - my choice‘, and then, most importantly, model this as teachers by giving the kids choices. Eg for greeting every morning, the kids can choose to get a hug, fist bump, high five or wave from their teacher. Or wherever that works in the curriculum. The kids love the idea of getting that choice and it really reinforces the consent idea (the word consent is never used at this age). Enforcement in the moment/on the playground and modeling is vastly more effective than theoretical explanations.

The my body-my choice mantra gets repeated a LOT and there is constant repetition of ‚have you made sure he/she is ok with being touched? whenever there is conflict. Another important rule is to stop touching right away when someone says no (not having them beg for you to stop multiple times) - this is rigorously enforced especially with the smaller kids.

IMHO it is also important to allow contact when consensual, eg hugs, holding hands or wrestling - kids crave touch even more than adults do and need an outlet for that. So it‘s more about making choices, less about enforcing ‚hands off‘.
posted by The Toad at 8:21 AM on December 7, 2018 [15 favorites]

consent for kids, from the same people as the tea video above
posted by WCityMike at 10:37 AM on December 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've recently purchased a couple copies of the great Menstrupedia comic for the school (and am looking into raising funds to buy one for each female student). Does anyone have an idea or suggestion of something similar—that is, an approachable comic or comic-like publication—that deals with basic ideas of "don't hit other people" and consent?
posted by blueberry at 6:34 AM on December 15, 2018

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