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Should schools intervene in students’ private relationships?

Blog post

California schools have “an obligation to protect pupils from mistreatment from other children” and to protect the right of every student “to attend campuses which are safe, secure, and peaceful.”[1] 

California schools have an obligation to address threats to a student’s safety on campus, whether those threats come from a peer or a dating partner. The intent of AB 1880 is not to intervene in students’ private relationships, but rather to ensure that all students can be safe at school.

The pervasiveness of dating abuse on school campuses, threatens the safety of students and staff, affects the overall school climate, and distracts students from their focus on learning.[2][3]

For example, when Cindi Santana was stabbed in the quad area of South East High School in South Gate, California on September 30th, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, another student and a school administrator were also injured.

[1] California Constitution, Article 1, § 28(c).
[2] Eaton, Davis, Barrios, Brener & Noonan. (2007.) Behaviors among U.S. high school students participation, co-occurrence, and early initiation of risk behaviors among U.S. high school students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22, 585.
[3] California Attorney General’s Office. (2008). A Guide to Addressing Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Violence in a School Setting. Sacramento, CA: Author.

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