This past October, our PPINK educators hosted a retreat for peer education teens from Indianapolis and Louisville. In one activity, the teens formed small groups, debated the most intense problem teens in their cities face, and came up with a plan to solve it. Their ideas were presented to the entire group and one was chosen. All agreed that the most important issue teens face was a lack of consent or unclear definitions of consent. They felt strongly about this issue in particular because they all knew someone who had struggled with the definition, was confused by media representations, or simply had a partner try to push their own definitions. In order to solve this problem they worked to first define consent and then create a bumper sticker using this definition. The result is below; peer eds created the definition, designed the sticker, and worked to get it approved.
One of our peer educators in Indianapolis had the following story to share about the stickers:
“This happened on a Tuesday night shortly after I got home from a Teen Council meeting in which I picked up 10 or 11 of our #DefiningConsent stickers. Another student from Brownsburg High School posted a vaguely sexist tweet about what happens to girls on spring break. When other students from the school questioned him, they were met with jokes pertaining to drugs and rape from other students, which infuriated me. I took a picture of the consent stickers I had, and tweeted that they are up for grabs for anyone who may want them, and I will be placing some around the school if anyone would like to help; a fellow student replied and told me that she would be happy to. I gave half of the stickers I had left to her, and a couple more to other students. I placed the remaining three stickers I had left in various spots in BHS’s senior academy: on the door of the boys’ restroom, by the vending machines, and in a stairwell.
Shortly after that, I saw people taking pictures of the stickers I had up, and I also overheard other students talking about the stickers in a positive light. I even heard from word of mouth that the girl I gave the rest of my stickers to placed them in other parts of the building, and they caused a stir in that area of the school as well. I had some students ask me what exactly I meant to say in handing out the stickers and what my motives behind it were, and after some explaining, many of them told me they didn’t realize how large of an issue it was, and that they thought it was neat that I was interested in the cause. I’ve also given the stickers to my immediate family, and have gotten them more involved in backing the cause. There are many people who initially thought Planned Parenthood only dealt with abortion who now know the many issues Planned Parenthood deals with in terms of safe sex education and sexual health as a result of the consent stickers being passed around.
When I was placing and handing out the stickers, I did not expect them to cause this large of a movement at my school, but I could not be happier with the outcome. I look forward to handing out more stickers, and I think it would be absolutely fantastic if this could happen in other schools and settings as well!”
To learn more about the stickers, Teen Council (peer education), or PPINK programs please contact firstname.lastname@example.org