AFT Resolution

IN SUPPORT OF DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE SEXUAL CONSENT EDUCATION IN AMERICA’S SCHOOLS

WHEREAS, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network defines sexual consent as “an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity”; and

WHEREAS, consent requires communication between the parties prior to sexual activity; and

WHEREAS, the skills necessary for effective communication, boundary setting and relationship building may be taught in a comprehensive, developmentally appropriate course of study, according to the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines sexual violence as a significant public health problem affecting the lives of millions of people in the United States, which can lead to long-lasting consequences in a survivor’s physical and mental health; and

WHEREAS, according to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 59 men have reported being raped at some point in their lives; and

WHEREAS, the survey also shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men report having been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, while 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men report having been stalked during their lifetime; and

WHEREAS, sexual violence also affects students between the ages of 12 and 18 in staggering numbers; and

WHEREAS, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime, approximately one-third of all perpetrators of sexual violence are juveniles; and

WHEREAS, our students, in and out of school, are the victims of sexual violence of all types—in-person, online bullying, anti-LGBTQ harassment, unwanted touching, assault and rape; and

WHEREAS, our current political and social climate has led to increased conversation about consent as well as sexual violence; and

WHEREAS, school communities that serve as sites where all students and staff are safe from acts of sexual harassment and violence are conducive to the fulfilment of one’s professional and academic potential; and

WHEREAS, effective Jan. 1, 2017, California became the first state to require all high schools to teach at least one lesson on affirmative consent and sexual violence prevention in mandatory health classes:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will encourage and support its locals to lobby state and local departments of education to require developmentally appropriate lessons on affirmative consent and sexual violence prevention; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will advocate for the implementation of research-based and developmentally appropriate lessons on consent, effective communication, healthy sexuality and positive interpersonal relationships, to be made available to our members across the country; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will push for school-based professional learning so that our members may serve as informed role models by contributing to respectful cultures in our classrooms and schools, identifying and intervening for students at risk of participating in inappropriate conduct, and successfully supporting students and colleagues who have experienced sexual violence.

(2018)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.