The Kavanaugh hearing and confirmation were seen by many as an exceptionally dark chapter in our nation’s recent history, as Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against the Supreme Court Justice nominee made people more aware than ever of just how pervasive sexual misconduct is in our society. But while it is easy to be discouraged and cynical in the wake of these recent events, Liz Kleinrock, a third-grade teacher from Los Angeles, is using Kavanaugh’s accusation as inspiration to teach her students all about consent, including what exactly consent is and how students can ensure they are not violating anyone else’s consent with their actions.
Kleinrock began by creating a chart with her students that broke down consent in five easy and helpful steps. The first explained what it means to give consent, the second shared what consent sounds like, the third shared scenarios where asking for or giving consent may be necessary, fourth showed scenarios where a person might not realize they are doing something without another person’s consent, and the fifth tells students what they can say if they do not consent to something being asked of them.
View this post on Instagram
Everything about Kavanaugh in the news has been making me HEATED. So whenever I get frustrated about the state of our country, it inspires me to proactively teach my kids to DO BETTER. Today was all about CONSENT. We even explored the grey areas, like if someone says “yes” but their tone and body language really says “no.” Role playing is a great way to reinforce these skills, but they MUST be taught explicitly!
The chart was posted on Kleinrock’s Instagram, where it ended up going viral, earning more than 6,000 likes since it was posted last month. Kleinrock also shared some drawings her students made that demonstrate the idea of establishing consent before physical interactions, including a stick figure drawing of a young girl letting a young boy know that she does not want a hug from him.
“I always like to think about what can I do to be proactive,” Kleinrock told The Washington Post. “You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but what I feel like I do have some control over is the future of our country and how we’re educating our children to be better and more responsive than we currently are.”