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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
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.