IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – With the help of school staff, Iron Mountain’s Caringhouse, and local law enforcement, the students at Kingsford High School are learning how to engage in healthy relationships. Kingsford High School has partnered with Iron Mountain’s Caringhouse to help teach teens how to watch for relationships that can be damaging, whether it be emotionally or physically.
The Caringhouse will be at the school for activities that are planned throughout the month, and has posted awareness advocacy signs throughout the school to promote accountability in healthy relationships. Caringhouse Child Teen Advocates, Selene Gonzalez and Vanessa Bal, will be at the school next week during the students’ lunch hour with an educational wheel that the students can spin to get them talking about how to engage in healthy relationships.
High School Principal, Dave Lindbeck, says that there are plans in the works for students to engage as leaders that would be trained on how to watch for signs of abuse among their peers. He says the plan is for the necessary training to take place with assigned student leaders, and the students would follow a confidential process aimed at keeping the students safe. School staff held a meeting with the Caringhouse to move things forward.
“A topic that we spoke about this morning is creating a group of students that are specially trained to help pick up and look for signs of unhealthy relationships amongst their peers…They’ll be specially trained and confidential. But helping them look for additional assistance, how to advocate for themselves, and really being able to identify what’s right and what’s wrong,” Lindbeck commented. He said the student peer advocacy group is being named T.A.A.R., which stands for Teens Against Abusive Relationships.
According to Cheryl O’Neil, the Caringhouse Executive Director, all Dickinson County law enforcement will be wearing orange ribbons on their uniforms throughout the month of February, and have orange ribbons tied to their assigned vehicles, to advocate for healthy relationships for teens. The Caringhouse provides domestic violence and sexual assault services throughout the surrounding area.
Principal Lindbeck says that the school wants to make sure that students have the resources to get help, if it is needed.
“We want to get our students involved, bring awareness, and add resources for our students, so that they know where to go and how to advocate for themselves if something should happen.”
The school also wants it known to students that law enforcement is there to help, should any problems arise. The school resource officer, Matt Brouilette of Kingsford Public Safety was on site with Caringhouse staff and school officials putting up the advocacy posters.
For more information about the services that are available through the Caringhouse, visit caringhouseim.com