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Approximately 72 percent of 8th and 9th graders report “dating.” By the time these students get to high school, more than half of them say they see dating violence among their peers. Destructive relationships during the teen years can lead to life-long unhealthy relationship practices.

Schools can play a role in preventing teen dating violence. At least 19 states have laws that urge or require school boards to develop curriculum on teen dating violence. Many states have also adopted teen dating violence awareness weeks or months, in an effort to draw the public’s attention to a national campaign that promotes prevention, safe dating practices, and offers information and resources. With guidelines closely tied to the Demi Brae Cuccia Bill, Pennsylvania is one of those states with the passage of House Bill 101, which recommends TDV education in grades 9 through 12.

We sincerely thank Principal Todd Kolson and Assistant Principal Dale Sleva for the privilege of sharing Demi’s message and our Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Program with their student body. The students we encountered today were truly exceptional and we look forward to working with the Mars Area School District again!