- Los Angeles Unified School District
- United States of America
Teen dating violence is a serious issue that affects us all. As friends and relatives of victims, we cope with the loss of our dearest ones. As classmates of victims, we feel unsafe and have a hard time performing our best at school. As observers of teen dating violence, we watch as violence becomes a normalized component of our culture. As victims, we are impacted in the most gruesome way possible. Teen dating violence needs to be addressed immediately.
On September 30th, 2011, Cindi Santana, a 17 year-old student at South East High School in South Gate, California was stabbed to death on school grounds by her former boyfriend, Abraham Lopez. Prior to the incident, Lopez was arrested and subsequently released on bail after threatening Cindi. Santana’s mother notified her daughter’s school of Lopez’s threatening behavior and presented a restraining order regarding Santana’s safety. However, the school did not undertake the proper measures to follow it, and on September 30th, Lopez approached Cindi at the school courtyard during lunch and stabbed her multiple times, resulting in her death.
Before the Cindi Santana case, the violence prevention non-profit, Peace Over Violence and other youth-groups and community partners, had been working with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for ten years to implement a policy advocating healthy relationships and teen dating violence prevention. In previous years, when POV presented the policy to the LAUSD board, it was repudiated, but in light of Cindi’s death, the policy was passed on October 11th, 2011 with an unanimous vote.
However, it still has not been effectuated by LAUSD due to a clause concerning funds. The clause allows the policy to be delayed as long as funds are not sufficient to support said policy. Many more acts of violence have occurred since then, and still, the policy has not been implemented.
The best way to prevent further acts of teen dating violence is by effectuating this policy which will:
- Establish a Prevention Coordinator and Prevention Liaisons to coordinate the dissemination of prevention methods, intervention techniques, and curricula addressing adolescent dating abuse.
- Provide prevention education to students on topics of healthy relationships and dating abuse.
- Provide ongoing professional development to school staff on topics of healthy relationships and dating abuse.
- Provide parent/caregiver engagement opportunities to educate parents on topics of healthy relationships and dating abuse.
- Coordinate appropriate intervention and response to incidents or complaints of dating abuse.
- Establish ongoing tools to monitor and assess dating abuse prevention activities and intervention techniques.
- Provide annual written notice to parents/caregivers and students of the school teen dating violence policy.
We must implement this policy to prevent another serious tragedy. Violence not only affects the victim physically and mentally, but also his/her ability to perform well in school, live a healthy lifestyle, and his/her family and friends. To support this policy, please sign below.
We, the undersigned, call on the Los Angeles Unified School District to implement the Teen Dating Violence Policy in all of its schools.
The Support the Teen Dating Violence Policy Petition petition to Los Angeles Unified School District was written by Peace Over Violence and is in the category Youth at GoPetition.