As part of ongoing efforts to address concerns about student sexual violence, the Palo Alto school district is bringing two speakers to discuss with students, staff and community members issues from consent to gender inequality.
A new superintendent's task force focused on sexual violence, called Responsive and Impactful Safe Environment (RISE), is sponsoring the speakers.
Anea Bogue, a sexual-health educator and coach who runs empowerment programs for girls and boys, will be in Palo Alto this and next week to work with high school staff and students. She will also give two public talks on Friday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 25.
Bogue "brings her expertise for creating a culture of consent by empowering teens to know their boundaries, express them and respect those of others," an event description reads. "She will also provide practical tips for how to effectively communicate with teens about affirmative consent and healthy relationships."
Bogue's "REALgirl" and "REALboy" programs are meant to help young girls and boys develop life and leadership skills and form healthy relationships. Bogue is also the author of "9 Ways We're Screwing Up Our Girls and How We Can Stop: A Guide to Helping Girls Reach Their Highest Potential."
Bogue led workshops on sexual violence at Los Altos High School last year.
Bogue will speak on Friday from 2-3:30 p.m. at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, and on Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m., also at Cubberley. Child care will be provided and both Mandarin and Spanish interpretation will be available.
The superintendent's task force is also planning to bring Jackson Katz, the co-founder of national prevention and education program Mentors in Violence Prevention, to work with high school students and give community talks in April. He will be working with juniors and seniors on April 11 and 12 and returning to work with freshmen and sophomores on April 30 and May 1, according to interim Superintendent Karen Hendricks. His work covers not only sexual violence but also topics including bullying and school shootings.
Katz will also speak at a parent event on April 11 at 7 p.m.
"We are committed to ensuring every student leaves PAUSD schools with a clear understanding of what constitutes sexual misconduct, consent and boundaries, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, and harm reduction strategies when it comes to the use of drugs and alcohol," Hendricks wrote in a weekly message describing RISE's efforts.
The task force is aiming to make recommendations to Hendricks on further prevention education for the high schools by March, then for the middle and elementary schools. The task force has split into four sub-groups: one focused on compliance with a federal resolution agreement that outlines steps the district must take to address violations of anti-discrimination law Title IX; another on communication and outreach; a third on partnerships; and a fourth on curriculum and instruction.
For more information on RISE, go to pausd.org.