Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Public Advocate Letitia James were joined by fellow legislators, New York State Regent Kathleen Cashin, teen dating violence prevention advocates, and dating violence survivors to announce the launch of the Jessica Tush Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program. The program, named after a Staten Island teenager who was slain as the result of dating violence, will be piloted later this month at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. At the press conference the official logo for the program was unveiled. The logo was designed by Anai Ortiz and Andrew Nunez, students at Williamsburg High School for Architecture and Design, through a design competition.
The Jessica Tush Teen Dating Violence Prevention Program will involve twelve students who will undergo a three month training program offered by Day One, a youth dating violence advocacy group, with the help of TOGETHER, a youth and police empowerment program. The twelve students will formulate what they learned into a curriculum and video series, all in accordance with Common Core Standards. The curriculum and video series, which will be the first ever to be aligned with Common Core Standards, will then be taught to all 9th grade classes. Day One will also provide professional development for all teachers, counselors, and administrators. The goal of the program is to make students and teachers aware of how to prevent and recognize teen dating violence, and how to intervene when necessary.