Teen dating violence prevention program launches at J.H. Rose High School

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J.H. Rose High School in Greenville has been picked to launch the new pilot initiative called the Catch Program.

The program’s curriculum teaches students about teen dating violence and what a healthy relationship should look like.

If the pilot test goes well, the goal is to eventually implement it at all of Pitt County’s High Schools.

Portia Willis, the outreach coordinator for the Center for Family Violence Prevention in Greenville is working with students.

Willis explains some signs parents should be on the lookout for that may indicate their child is in an abusive relationship.

“You’ve got to be vigilant,” said Willis. “When you’re teen’s grades maybe dropping. When they’re becoming more isolated. When they want to spend all of their time with that person.”

For the past two weeks, students have participated in the curriculum.

On Thursday, they wrote positive affirmations with chalk on the school’s sidewalk to encourage their peers to be in healthy relationships.

One student tells Nine on Your Side why she participated.

“I think having a healthy relationship is really important to loving yourself,” said the student. “If you’re in some sort of relationship that is more draining than giving it can affect your whole life.”

Just to drive home how big of an issue teen dating violence is, Willis said one in three teens will experience teen dating violence between the years of 16 to 24-years-old.

She also said some teens may not even be aware they are in an abusive relationship.

Willis said some warning signs include your partner excessively calling or emailing you and checking your messages.

Also happening at J.H. Rose High School, a program that’s helping students get ready to visit colleges.

In the Taking Steps Beyond Rose Program, students participate in multiple seminars where they can earn points to participate in a college tour.

On Thursday, students learned how to tie a tie.

“They earn their seat on the bus through college prep behavior,” said Tracey Moore, a 9th & 10th grade math teacher. “One of the things that we’re doing right now to earn points for our ECU trip is the kids go to a formal luncheon. We’ll before the luncheon, we have to show them what that means, and how you feel comfortable doing that.”

This program is unique to J.H. Rose.

Organizers say it’s all about giving students motivation to do well in school by giving them a vision of what they can do after high school.

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