Dr. Hill on Policy Changes Surrounding Sexual Assault

In the wake of the recent sexual assault allegations posed against BVSD students Curran English and Aidan Atkinson, Boulder High will be implementing some new policies regarding consent education.

via boh.bvsd.org

In the wake of the recent sexual assault allegations posed against BVSD students Curran English and Aidan Atkinson, Boulder High will be implementing some new policies regarding consent education.

Clara Fraser, Staff Writer

In the face of the recent events regarding sexual violence, I sat down with Dr. Hill to discuss the approach Boulder High is taking to deal with this issue. While Boulder High already has extensive policies in place regarding sexual harassment, the administration has realized that there will need to be some changes to our approach. Dr. Hill talked about how he and the rest of the administration have been working to reach a broader range of students when teaching this information, as well as doing work with various organizations and focusing on the content of what will be taught. Major areas of focus will be consent and establishing healthy relationship norms. Dr. Hill says that we’ll be talking about “what consent is, what it looks like and what should be going on.” 

Part of my discussion with Dr. Hill included talking about how the curriculum will be brought to the student body. Although MESA and other organizations come into our health classes every year, many students at Boulder High do not take a health course. In order to educate all of our Boulder High community, it’s essential that these subjects are taught to the entire school. Dr. Hill and the administration have been working on organizing ways to reach the maximum number of students possible – he mentioned that they’ll be doing seminars with all of the Boulder High teams, during both the fall and spring sports seasons. Dr. Hill brought attention to the number of Boulder High School Students on our “athletic teams and how many students [these seminars] will reach.”

Dr. Hill also talked about setting up other seminars workshops that the whole school would be able to go to—however, these wouldn’t be formatted like an assembly, as he acknowledges that sometimes the information in assemblies doesn’t reach all of our students. Instead, classes will rotate through the auditorium on various block days, so there will be a smaller group of students where participants can be more focused. Dr. Hill also talked about getting the parent community involved. “I’m going to do something at night with our parents and have them talk about the signs to look for and [then] bringing the parent group in,” said Dr. Hill, “PEN (Parent Engagement Network) is doing a parent panel, and that’s in February at Casey.” 

Although all the details haven’t been completely worked out yet, the administration is working to make changes that fit our circumstances and to develop a strong approach to deal with this topic. Dr. Hill has developed multiple approaches, saying that “by doing the piece with the athletes in the fall and again in the spring and having those block days where we’re doing different breakout sessions, [we can] expand our program. I thought that having classes rotate through on these block period would end up hitting more students.”   

However, Dr. Hill emphasizes that this is an issue that pertains to our whole community, and stresses that the administration can only do so much. Dr. Hill mentioned wanting to “talk with our student council, our Student Leadership Alliance and talking about ways where they can get involved.” While they are important, it’s not only the various clubs or organizations at our school that are going to change this culture; it’s up to the entire student body to stay involved in this issue and actively contribute to the conversation regarding increased awareness about sexual violence. This issue isn’t something that’s going to go away, and we need to stand up and make our voices heard. In doing so, we can attend these seminars, focus on having a constructive conversation with our classmates and work on speaking up for those around us. Call people out on their behavior—don’t be a part of the bystander effect and let something happen because you think someone else is going to step in. Sexual Assault is something that we need to talk about—not just when an issue arrives but continuously. Sexual assault isn’t something that Boulder High is going to stray away from talking about, and it’s going to continue to be further integrated into our school curriculum.  

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800-656-HOPE (4673)