More than one-third of 10th-graders (35 percent) have been physically or verbally abused by dating partners, while a similar percentage are perpetrators of such abuse.
are physically abused by dating partners every year.
Bob Farrace, the public-affairs director for the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said he encourages high-school principals to take an honest and transparent look at their own data, identify the trends in teen dating violence incidents, and address them appropriately.
While he called the study’s findings “deeply troubling,” he said that dating abuse hasn’t been cited specifically by principals as an area of focus for the national organization, alluding to state policies that oversee teen dating violence training and education.
Principals who overlook or minimize relationship violence, the researcher said, lose sight of the most important consideration: student welfare.
“They have some awareness that this is happening in their school, especially if they're assisting victims periodically,” he said.
It is a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others.“If they choose not to take action, for me, they are a bystander.”The study exposed multiple instances of high-school principals seemingly misinformed or uninformed on teen dating violence.For example, respondents were most likely to assume that counselors and parents are preferable to students’ peers in assisting victims.De Leon, who has seen her peers being physically and emotionally abusive to one another, now recognizes the red flags—and she wants more support for victims from the adults in her school building.“I think we have to start with the principals at the schools, because they’re the leaders,” she said.
“That way we can have trust in them [and] come to them if we’re in that situation.”Lindsay Stawick, who directs the Domestic Violence Network’s youth programming, said most inquiries for dating-violence-prevention training come from teachers—at De Leon’s high school, for its part, it was a social worker.The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.