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Resources for Schools and Teachers

Guide to Answering Questions about Sexual Violence for Teachers

After The Rowan Center provides education in your classroom, you may get follow-up questions from students. Here are some tips our educators use every day to respond to questions. 

  • Regulate your own emotions to the best of your ability and avoid reacting in a way that conveys shame, shock, or disapproval.
  • Even if you think the question is inappropriate, treat it as an opportunity to learn, including learning why the question was disrespectful.
  • React to all questions as if they’re serious questions.
    • Admonishing students for asking questions, even silly ones, can send other students with real questions the message that they may not be taken seriously
    • Refusing to react strongly to a question removes the incentive to ask inflammatory questions, as the intention of the student is often to get a strong reaction.
    • This demonstrates the expectation that questions are asked with serious intent.
  • It is okay to not know the answer to a question. Usually, you will earn respect by admitting when you don’t know the answer.
  • Feel free to follow up on any questions with Sarah Malhotra at
  • Keep in mind that sexual abuse does require a mandatory report, so if a question includes a disclosure you will have to follow up using your school’s procedures.

Meditation Video

Sexual violence can be a tough topic. This classroom meditation video can help you and your class take a few moments to get centered so you can process the difficult feelings that may come up during any discussions.