The Most Heartbreaking Thing Students Tell Me

This is part of a series of blog posts about our new student curriculum, rewire, that is launching this summer. It is written by the teacher of that series, Scott Harvey. For more information on Scott, click HERE.

Having been a police officer for the past 17 years of my life, I have seen my fair share of heartbreaking things. People only call the police when things are at their worst. No one calls us to help them celebrate. We are in the clean up business. When life falls apart, we get called to help restore order, aid the injured, and introduce those responsible to the criminal justice system. It didn’t take long before I got tired of cleaning up. It is messy, heartbreaking work. So, over 14 years ago, I started teaching the D.A.R.E. program one day a week while working patrol the rest of the week. Today, my job at the police department is primarily focused on crime prevention.

On my vacation days from the police department, I travel the country speaking to students, parents, educators, and businesses about various topics. Lately, I have spent a lot of that time talking about responsible use of technology. You see, I believe with better information, students can make better choices. I have seen it happen countless times.

We assume that our students are learning most of what they need from the computer they carry in their pockets 24/7. And, they are! But, just because something is on the internet doesn’t make it true. I know. Crazy, huh?

There are just some issues that are too important to allow the computer to be the only voice speaking into our students’ lives. There are some issues we MUST do a better job of discussing with them. Sexual issues would be at the front of that line!

I know. I get it. Sexual issues are uncomfortable to talk about, and we live in a culture that values comfort above all else. But, when I tell students things like the fact that 86% of sexual pictures meant for one person end up being shared with others, they are dumbfounded. Some of them are angry. How do I know? They line up to talk to me after student assemblies with tears in their eyes, and I know what they are going to tell me. It breaks my heart every time I hear it. They come up to me and tell me about poor choices they have made, and they always end their story with, “why did no one ever tell me this before?”

Our students are making poor choices because they have bad information. They have bad information about sexual issues because we, the adults in their life, are uncomfortable. That’s not OK! We can do better!

That’s where “rewire” can help. We want to begin a conversation with your students that you can continue without it being weird. This curriculum will bring up the difficult information in a way that your students can relate to, and you can continue that conversation. I have dedicated my professional life to prevention because I believe that with better information, students will make better choices. Clean up is messy and expensive.

Students will still make poor choices. They are learning. But, I just don’t want them making poor choices out of ignorance. I don’t want them messing up because we were too uncomfortable to have important conversations with them. I don’t want them to have to walk through the heartbreaking clean up process any more. Your students need your help!

We have been wired by our culture to avoid uncomfortable things, and our students are paying a high price for this. I believe it is time for a rewire!

To stay up to date on the latest information about rewire, including details when it becomes available for purchase, please click here for email updates.