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Third-grade chart explains consent: ‘[I]n the middle of a hug and the person changes their mind?’


A third-grade teacher from Los Angeles has devised a simple chart for her students to figure out what “consent” actually means.

What are the details?

Liz Kleinrock, a third-grade teacher at Citizens of the World Charter School Silver Lake, created the chart, which she shared on her Instagram page last week.
On her Instagram page, Kleinrock’s bio reads, “M.Ed. Elementary teacher. 2018 Teaching Tolerance Awardee. Social justice advocate. Anti-bias educator,” and even includes her preferred pronoun, which is “she/her.”
In sharing the chart, Kleinrock wrote, “Everything about Kavanaugh in the news has been making me HEATED. So whenever I get frustrated about the state of our country, it inspires me to proactively teach my kids to DO BETTER. Today was all about CONSENT. We even explored the grey areas, like if someone says ‘yes’ but their tone and body language really says ‘no.’ Role playing is a great way to reinforce these skills, but they MUST be taught explicitly!”
The chart defines the word “consent,” and goes on to illustrate the definition with what consent is and is not, and when it is appropriate to ask for consent.
Consent is needed, according to Kleinrock’s chart, for such things as giving hugs, borrowing things, touching another person, kissing, secrets, and sharing.
The chart also presents “what if” questions, such as “What if you’re in the middle of a hug and the person changes their mind?” and “What if the person says ‘no,’ but they’re smiling?”

Anything else?

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Kleinrock said, “I think whenever I tend to look at things spiraling in society, particularly political events that are going on, I like to think about what kind of foundational skills should have been in place earlier to prevent these things from happening.”
Kleinrock also said that her children engage in a role-playing activity in which she encourages the children to ask if they can give her a hug.
“I’m saying the word ‘yes,’ but my tone and my body language are so clearly uncomfortable so I ask, ‘Can you read my body? Can you read my face? How do you think I’m actually feeling?’” she explained. “Or I’m laughing and saying, ‘No, not right now.’ I look happy and positive, but the words coming out of my mouth are still no. It’s the tone and delivery.”
She also explained that she does not discuss sex with her third-grade class.
“People seem to have a really hard time with this because of the connection between consent and sex, but it never crossed my mind to talk about sex with my class,” she told the outlet. “My students are 8 and 9 years old. It’s really about respecting space and physical boundaries and interacting with each other.”

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