Shifting Boundaries

The classroom curricula has six sessions that cover 1) the construction of gender roles, 2) the setting and communicating of boundaries in interpersonal relationships, 3) healthy relationships, 4) the role of bystander as intervener, 5) the consequences of perpetrating, and 6) the State and Federal laws related to dating violence and sexual harassment. The six lessons are flexible with current school schedules and are taught over 6 to 10 weeks. 

These six lessons use both concrete/applied materials and abstract thinking components. Two of the activities consist of students measuring their own personal space and creating ‘hot spot’ maps of their school that highlight safe and unsafe spaces in regard to dating violence and sexual harassment. The curriculum includes a fact-based component based on the idea that increased knowledge about facts and consequences of one’s behaviors are appropriate and useful primary prevention tools. Facts and statistics about sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and the legal definitions of all of these terms are part of this fact-based component. Students explore the concepts of laws and boundaries, consider laws as they apply by gender, plot the shifting nature of personal space, learn how to help a friend in need, and learn about other sources of help. One of the last activities dictates that students sign the Respecting Boundaries Agreement, which is tied to prohibited behaviors in the school rules.

Schoolwide Intervention
The second component of Shifting Boundaries is a school-level intervention. This intervention affects the entire school building and consists of revising school protocols for identifying and responding to dating violence and sexual harassment, the introduction of temporary school-based restraining orders, and the installation of posters in the school to increase awareness and reporting of dating violence/harassment. The classroom curricula and the schoolwide intervention are linked, as the student ‘hot spot’ maps of unsafe areas in school are used to determine the placement of faculty or school security for greater surveillance of these areas. The building interventions are conducted on the same schedule as the classroom curricula, lasting 6 to 10 weeks.

Session 1: What is a Boundary?

Session 2: Measuring Personal Space

Session 3: Big Deal or No Big Deal?

Session 4: DVD Segment on Shantai/Respecting Boundaries Agreement


Session 5: “Says Who” questionnaire/”What Can I Do?” Tips


Session 6: Mapping Safe and Unsafe Spaces at School