Break the Cycle of Violence

Breaking the cycle of violence and teaching young people healthy behaviors early in their life is at the core of a team-based program new this year in the Oak Ridge Schools. Offered in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and Futures without Violence, Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM), is fostering unprecedented opportunity for conversation with male student athletes. CBIM is a national program that trains athletic coaches to use their influence to build character, promote healthy relationships and prevent sexual and dating violence with high school male student athletes. Over the course of an athletic season, CBIM coaches lead their players through brief, weekly activities that address topics such as personal responsibility, respectful behaviors, relationship abuse, insulting language, consent, digital abuse, and what it means to “be a man.”

Promote an Environment of Respect

Spratling and Graham

Coaches John Spratling and Kwayu Graham

Beginning in August 2018, ORHS Assistant Football Coaches John Spratling and Kwayu Graham have led student athletes through the core tenets of CBIM as a team on a weekly basis. The overarching goal of these meetings is to promote an environment of respectful relationships within the team, to model the idea throughout the school and to instill these concepts as a norm in the overall school environment.

Dan Schwartz

Willow Brook Counselor Dan Schwartz

Additionally, ORS teachers participate in strand-model professional development two hours monthly over the course of the school year.  For the first time, the full curriculum of CBIM has been made available to teacher coaches of male sports. Strand facilitator and Willow Brook School Counselor Dan Schwartz guides participants through thoughtful discussions equipping them with the tools they need to help student athletes promote gender equity and build responsible, respectful, and non-violent relationships.

Observing Awareness Events

Recognizing October as National Domestic Violence Awareness month, Coach Joe Gaddis and the ORHS football team encourage fans to join them in drawing attention to this issue by wearing something purple to the home game against Powell on October 19.  During the week of national observance (October 15-19) ORHS student council members and cheerleaders, in partnership with the YWCA, will provide opportunities for participation in awareness events at school to communicate that domestic violence knows no demographic boundaries.  Tennessee saw 77,846 domestic violence offenses reported statewide in 2017 earning a ranking of the 4th highest nationwide. Furthermore, children are often exposed to this behavior, with national data showing that children are present in more than 60% of intimate partner assaults each year in the United States. By teaching young people what it means to be in a healthy relationship and how to stand up for what is right, CBIM will impact this generation of youth, and many more generations to come.

Get More Information

For more information about the Coaching Boys Into Men program please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning at 425-9013.

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Press release and photos submitted by Elizabeth McFall